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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Reproduced from Gallup; Note: Margin of error ±4 percentage points; Table: Axios Visuals

Americans' mental health is the worst it's been in two decades, according to a new Gallup poll.

Between the lines: It's fairly obvious why, given that the once-in-a-generation pandemic was only the start of 2020's stressors. But once the pandemic ends, this unfortunate side effect could linger.

By the numbers: 34% of poll respondents said their mental health is excellent — a drop from 43% a year ago.

  • A significantly higher number — 76% — said their mental health is good or excellent, but that's still a nine-point drop from 2019.
  • 18% said their mental health is only fair, and 5% said it was poor.
  • Although the vast majority of demographic groups saw declines, some started off with better reported mental health than others.

The other side: The portion of Americans who said their physical health is good or excellent was 79%, which is roughly the same as it has been for the last two decades.

The big picture: This portrait of the country's mental health is self-reported. But it's safe to assume that some portion of people whose mental health has taken a turn for the worse will need help, and won't just bounce back to normal once the pandemic ends.

  • For example, substance use disorders and addictions won't simply go away with a coronavirus vaccine.
  • The U.S. had a poor record of providing mental health care before the pandemic. It will take a concerted effort to adequately deal with its mental health aftermath.

Go deeper: The overwhelming aftershocks of the pandemic

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

WHO says most pregnant women can now receive coronavirus vaccine

A doctor administering Moderna's coronavirus vaccine at a university hospital in Essen, Germany, on Jan. 18. Photo: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

The World Health Organization has altered its guidance for pregnant women who wish to receive the coronavirus vaccine, saying now that those at high risk of exposure to the COVID-19 or who have comorbidities that increase their risk of severe disease, may be vaccinated.

Why it matters: The WHO drew backlash for its previous guidance that did not recommend pregnant women be inoculated with vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, even though data indicated that pregnancy increased the risk of developing severe illness from the virus.

Jan 29, 2021 - World

EU grants conditional approval of AstraZeneca vaccine

Photo: Sunil Ghosh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The European Commission on Friday granted conditional approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for people 18 years and older.

Why it matters: This is the third vaccine to receive approval from the commission, coming hours after the Emergency Medicines Agency recommended its authorization.

Updated Nov 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: U.S. to mandate vaccines for anyone who crosses borders starting in January — Shots lagged data by months — The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort.
  2. Health: The Thanksgiving bouncers — Axios-Ipsos poll: Thanksgiving roulette — Experts criticize CDC's language on vaccine boosters — America's Thanksgiving gamble.
  3. Politics: Biden administration asks appeals court to reinstate vaccine mandate — Michigan recommends face masks for all residents amid surge.
  4. Education: A COVID strategy backfires at schools — Schools across the U.S. offer vaccine drivesBenefits of in-person school outweigh risks, study finds.
  5. World: EU drug regulator recommends Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids — Italy announces new COVID restrictions for unvaccinated people — European health agency urges expanding booster shot access.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.