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Photo: plus49/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

Budweiser said Monday it's giving up its iconic in-game Super Bowl airtime for the first time in 37 years, and will instead donate $1 million to the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative’s Vaccine Education Initiative.

Why it matters: The move is one of many fan-favorite traditions that will be lost at this year's game because of the pandemic.

  • In a statement, Budweiser said that it made the decision "so that one day soon, we can see our Buds again safely."

Details: Instead of running its slate of expensive Super Bowl spots on TV, Budweiser will run its ad digitally in the week leading up to game day.

  • The spot, called “Bigger Picture,” celebrates the individual acts of resilience that inspired first responders, some of the first people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The company also created a film starring Rashida Jones called “Bigger Picture,” which pledges critical vaccine support throughout 2021. Budweiser said it selected her voice for the short film for her ongoing commitment to COVID-19 vaccine awareness.

The big picture: Budweiser joins a list of well-known brands not advertising during the Super Bowl, which will be played before a smaller and more subdued in-person audience.

Go deeper: PSA donations tripled in 2020 due to COVID-19

Go deeper

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).