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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Some public health experts have suggested that pro athletes should be among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, believing it could engender confidence in those who are hesitant to get vaccinated.

The big picture: Though there was backlash over the summer when it looked like leagues were consuming an unfair proportion of limited testing resources, the benefits of athletes as "vaccine-influencers" may be too great to pass up.

  • Worth noting: Researchers in 2009 found that parents — regardless of political party — became more amenable to getting their child vaccinated for H1N1 after President Obama's daughters got their shots, per WSJ (subscription).

What they're saying:

  • "I have fantasies that we have video of everyone from Dr. Fauci to LeBron James getting their COVID vaccine," said Sandra Quinn, the chair of the family science department at the University of Maryland's School of Public Health.

The bottom line: Former Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton already expressed a willingness to get vaccinated on TV, which is a great start.

  • Yes, but: Polls show that Black adults are the most skeptical when it comes to trusting this vaccine, making the influencer's demographic of paramount importance.

Go deeper: As thousands of athletes get coronavirus tests, nurses wonder, what about us? (WashPost)

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 Oct 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: U.S. releases updated vaccination, testing rules for foreign travelers — Moderna says COVID vaccine shows strong immune response in kids — COVID vaccines for kids are getting closer — A choose-your-own COVID booster adventure
  2. Health: Unvaccinated athletes face 21-day quarantine at Beijing Olympics
  3. Politics: Study reveals disparities in hospitals' COVID funds — DeSantis touts bonuses for unvaccinated police who relocate to Florida — Puerto Rico leads U.S. vaccination rates
  4. Education: Benefits of COVID vaccine for children outweigh risks, FDA says — Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.