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Boeing's UV wand can disinfect high-touch surfaces. Photo: Boeing

Airlines could soon have another tool to help disinfect their airplanes and protect passengers from the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Air travel remains severely depressed since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The industry won't recover until passengers feel confident they won't be infected in flight by fellow travelers.

What's happening: Boeing designed and developed a prototype for an ultraviolet wand to disinfect high-touch surfaces and is now licensing the technology to a Florida-based company, Healthe, for manufacturing.

  • The UV wand is designed to disinfect compact spaces such as the flight deck, galley and lavatories.
  • It's a complement to existing sanitization methods such as electrostatic spraying and high-efficiency air filters.
  • The technology could be available for airlines in late fall, Boeing said.

Go deeper

Dec 31, 2020 - Health

WHO lists Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

A healthcare worker giving a patient a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine in Florida on Dec. 30. Photo: Marco Bello/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The World Health Organization on Thursday listed Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.

Why it matters: The approval — the WHO's first for a coronavirus vaccine — may allow some countries to expedite their own regulatory approval processes so they can import and administer the vaccine quicker, the WHO said.

Updated Jan 18, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.

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