WASHINGTON D.C. (CBS News) — More than half a million people in the United States have now died from COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University — a devastating milestone just over one year into the pandemic, which has upended so many aspects of life across the country and around the world.

The milestone comes as vaccination efforts roll out nationwide but new variants continue to emerge, creating uncertainty about the future.

It has been 13 months since the U.S. confirmed its first case of the virus, but the death toll has only intensified in recent months. More than 138,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. just since January 1.

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