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Data: CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans are slowly getting ready to fly again, with 44% of U.S. adults now saying they plan to fly in the next six months, data from CivicScience show.

By the numbers: That’s a 1 percentage-point bump from March and an 8 percentage-point increase from September. However, it's still well below pre-pandemic levels.

The intrigue: Despite the overall increase in intent to fly, 3 of the 4 major U.S. airlines saw a decline in the number of respondents who said they expected to fly with that airline.

  • This could signal increased interest in using smaller carriers like Southwest, CivicScience notes.
  • It also suggests that customers remain more comfortable with airlines that left middle seats open during the pandemic.

Go deeper

Updated May 7, 2021 - Health

The race to avoid a possible "monster" COVID variant

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Slow global COVID-19 vaccination rates are raising concerns that worse variants of the coronavirus could be percolating, ready to rip into the world before herd immunity can diminish their impact.

Why it matters: The U.S. aims to at least partially vaccinate 70% of adults by July 4, a move expected to accelerate the current drop of new infections here. But variants are the wild card, and in a global pandemic where only about 8% of all people have received one dose, the virus will continue mutating unabated.

Dave Lawler, author of World
May 6, 2021 - World

True COVID-19 death toll is double the official numbers, study finds

Expand chart
Data: IHME; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

There have been twice as many deaths from COVID-19 around the world as have been reported, according to the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), which analyzed excess mortality and other factors.

The big picture: The U.S. has undercounted by over 300,000 deaths, while the death tolls in India and Mexico — second and third on the list, respectively — are nearly three times the official numbers, according to the analysis.

May 6, 2021 - World

Germany opposes Biden's support for waiving vaccine patents

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking in Berlin in November 2020. Photo: Maja Hitij/Getty Images

The Biden administration's support for a proposal to waive certain patent protections for coronavirus vaccines would create “severe complications” for vaccine production, a German government spokesperson said Thursday, according to Bloomberg.

Why it matters: The patent waiver proposal, which proponents say will help increase vaccine production and deliver doses to the developing world, is working its way through the World Trade Organization and all 164 member countries will have to consent to the decision, according to Reuters.