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A worker at a coronavirus testing site in London on Feb. 10, 2021. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Studies show the coronavirus variant first detected in the United Kingdom is "likely" more lethal than the original strain, scientists with the British government said in an assessment released Friday.

Why it matters: The more contagious B.1.1.7 variant has been discovered in 82 countries, including the United States, according to the New York Times.

  • Cases of the new variant may be doubling in the U.S. nearly every 10 days and could the dominant version of the virus in the country by March, according to a study published by MedRxiv this week.

Details: In the new assessment, the British scientists estimate that the variant could be 30% to 70% deadlier than the original strain.

  • But they added that they would need more data on deaths in more extensive studies before they could definitively conclude that the variant is deadlier.
  • The new development comes roughly two months after British government warned that the B.1.1.7 variant is more more transmissible than other forms of the virus.

The big picture: Moderna and Pfizer have both found that their vaccines are effective against the U.K. variant and another variant first discovered in South Africa.

Go deeper: New coronavirus variants may lead to a longer, deadlier pandemic

Go deeper

Updated 17 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions — Exclusive: Teenagers' mental health claims doubled last spring.
  2. Axios-Ipsos poll: Americans' hopes rise after a year of COVID
  3. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  4. World: China and Russia vaccinate the world, for now.
  5. Energy: Global carbon emissions rebound to pre-COVID levels.
  6. Local: Florida gets more good vaccine newsMinnesota's hunger problem grows amid pandemic — Denver's fitness industry eyes a pandemic recovery.
Dave Lawler, author of World
Feb 13, 2021 - Health

America’s extra vaccine doses could be key to global supply

Data: Duke Global Health Innovation Center; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

The Biden administration’s purchase of 200 million additional Pfizer and Modern doses means the U.S. could fully vaccinate 300 million people with just those two vaccines — and 355 million more people if four additional vaccines gain FDA approval.

Why it matters: The U.S. is home to 250 million adults, many of whom won’t elect to be vaccinated. It's also now in control of a big chunk of the global vaccine supply. The White House says the U.S. will eventually donate excess doses to other countries, but it hasn’t released a plan to do so.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
36 mins ago - Economy & Business

The Fed could be firing up economic stimulus in disguise

Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard at a "Fed Listens" event. Photo: Eric Baradat / AFP via Getty Images.

Even as global growth expectations increase and governments pile on fiscal spending measures central bankers are quietly restarting recession-era bond-buying programs.

Driving the news: Comments Tuesday from Fed governor Lael Brainard suggest the Fed may be jumping onboard the global monetary policy rethink and restarting a program used following the 2008 global financial crisis.