By LEANNE ITALIE, The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — It's an omnipresent truth: Merriam-Webster has declared vaccine its 2021 word of the year.

Peter Sokolowski, editor at large for the dictionary company, tells The Associated Press that lookups for the word vaccine increased 601% over 2020.

Even more telling, searches on the Merriam-Webster website increased by 1,048% over 2019, before the COVID pandemic took hold.

The selection follows "vax" as word of the year from the folks who publish the Oxford English Dictionary. And it comes after Merriam-Webster chose "pandemic" as tops in lookups last year on its online site.

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