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(Reuters) – Federal, state and local officials sought to speed up slow-moving vaccinations on Thursday, a day after a record 4,000 Americans died and as employment statistics showed the pandemic and accompanying government lockdowns had slammed the job market.

As of Thursday roughly 6 million people across the United States had been given the first of two shots, despite the nationwide distribution of more than 21 million doses, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That number falls far short of the 20 million vaccinations the U.S. government had vowed to administer by the end of 2020 as the pandemic spirals to record numbers of infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

A closely watched Labor Department report set for release on

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