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More vaccines, Biden's Georgia trip, Obamacare enrollment: 5 things to know Tuesday

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Hundreds more hospitals to get COVID-19 vaccine

An additional 400 hospitals will receive the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, a day after hundreds of health care workers and officials across the U.S. were vaccinated. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities, however, won't begin immunizations until Dec. 21, and some on Dec. 28, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gustave Perna, the Operation Warp Speed chief operations officer, said vaccine deliveries set for Tuesday are packed and ready to go. “There is not one part of this country that’s not being touched today through Wednesday,” Perna said. The United States reached a grim milestone Monday, becoming the first country to register 300,000 deaths from COVID-19. Experts fear the nation is heading toward surpassing the total of American fatalities in World War II – about 405,000 – even as vaccines come to distribution sites across the country. A nurse in New York City became the first person in that state – and likely the nation – to receive a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine Monday, the only one so far authorized in the U.S.

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Biden heads to Georgia to campaign with Democratic candidates

President-elect Joe Biden, the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia since 1992, will return to the state Tuesday to campaign alongside Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock ahead of the Jan. 5 runoff elections against Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, respectively. The runoffs will determine which party controls the Senate and shape the legislative ambitions of Biden's presidency. They also will serve as an early test of Biden's power. Biden's joint rally with Ossoff and Warnock in Atlanta comes on the second day of early voting in Georgia and a day after the Electoral College cemented Biden's victory over President Donald Trump, who has spent weeks telling his supporters the election was rigged. Some Senate Republicans labeled the moment they would finally acknowledge Biden as president-elect, and several did after the vote.

Tuesday is deadline day in 36 states for Obamacare coverage

A crush of sign-ups expected Tuesday on the last day of open enrollment for HealthCare.gov could help solidify the standing of the Affordable Care Act — also known as "Obamacare" — as an improbable survivor of the Donald Trump years. In 36 states that use HealthCare.gov, Dec. 15 is deadline day for coverage that starts Jan. 1. Those who follow the annual sign-ups say interest has gotten stronger as the coronavirus pandemic grips the nation. Also, the legal cloud hanging over the ACA may have lifted last month when the Supreme Court seemed to indicate they were leaning toward upholding the law yet again. This is despite the Trump administration urging the law's elimination, particularly after a Republican challenge stemming from Congress' removal of the penalty imposed on consumers who refuse to buy health insurance.

Key shipping deadline looms for holiday packages

If you're planning to spread some holiday cheer by sending gifts to your loved ones, you better watch out: Today may be the last day to ship them so they get there on time for Christmas. Tuesday marks the deadline for regular ground shipments via UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service. You can find complete information on shipping deadlines and requirements at usps.com, fedex.com and ups.com. Meanwhile, here are some tips to make shipping your packages to family and friends a little easier.

Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer will pass Pat Summit with her next win

Stanford's Tara VanDerveer has a chance to become the winningest women's coach in NCAA Division I basketball Tuesday if the top-ranked Cardinal (4-0) defeat Pacific. A win would be the 1,099th of Vanderveer's illustrious Hall of Fame career and she'd pass legendary Tennessee coach Pat Summitt for the top spot. After VanDerveer tied the record Sunday night thanks to Stanford's win over longtime Pac-12 rival California, she quickly credited Summitt for helping her get there. "We would talk, and I think that one of the things, I like the idea of competing against great coaches to get better," VanDerveer said. VanDerveer, now in her 35th season as coach, has won two national championships (1990, 1992) in her 35 years at Stanford and she coached the United States women's team to a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: More US vaccines, Biden visits Georgia: 5 things to know Tuesday

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