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COVID deaths worldwide just passed 4 million

That's according to data gathered by Johns Hopkins University. Many experts believe that the real count is likely higher.

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More than 4 million people have died from the coronavirus, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

The World Health Organization's count of global COVID-19 deaths is slightly lower, at just under 4 million deaths. Many experts believe official data likely involves undercounts and that the true number of deaths caused by the coronavirus is much higher. In an analysis from May by the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, researchers said the true number of deaths caused by COVID-19 is more than double what's reported. Countries report only confirmed COVID-19 cases, and deaths that happen in a hospital, researchers said, and factors such as overwhelmed health care systems can lead to weaker reporting, and poor access to health care leads to deaths outside the hospital.

This somber milestone comes at a time when countries are racing against the highly infectious delta variant, and vaccination access remains a barrier in many countries. In India, where most of the world's vaccines are made, only 4% of people were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of June 29, NPR reported.

In the US, everyone age 12 and older can get a COVID vaccine. According to July 7 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 58.4% of US adults are fully vaccinated. Pfizer and other drug makers are looking at the need for a booster shot.

The milestone number of coronavirus deaths also comes before the summer Olympics in Tokyo, a city that was placed under a state of emergency Thursday as the country attempts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Spectators won't be allowed to attend the games in Tokyo. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.