A powerful tool to control the coronavirus pandemic could be available in weeks, as Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech plan to file Friday for emergency authorization of their vaccine. But officials are still preparing for grim months as the virus spreads rapidly — the United States neared 200,000 new infections in a day on Thursday, as hospitalizations broke records and the pandemic claimed its highest daily death toll since May 7.

Here are some significant developments:

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