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Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Axios Visuals

Daily cases of COVID-19 are currently falling across most of the world, and deaths — which had been climbing globally until late January — are also beginning to decrease.

The big picture: We can only learn so much from this 30,000-foot view, and there's plenty to fear from the emerging variants. Plus, cases and deaths had been so high that even after climbing down from the peak, we're still pretty close to the summit.

  • But this is the first time since the pandemic began where cases are falling in basically every region of the world at the same time. On a global level, virtually the only number that is rising is vaccine doses administered.
  • And in some places — south Asia for example — there's growing confidence that the worst of the pandemic may be over even before vaccines become widely available.

Our thought bubble: Optimism has not aged well during this pandemic, and this chart could look very different in a few weeks' time.

Go deeper

Coronavirus cases are falling all across the country

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New coronavirus infections slowed by nearly 16% over the past week, continuing a trend of rapid improvement.

The big picture: The U.S. still has a ton of coronavirus, and there’s still the potential for dark days ahead. But this is progress, and the improvement is significant. If this trend keeps going, the country will be in a far better and safer position as vaccines continue to roll out.

U.K. to test mixing COVID-19 vaccines in world-first trial

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a bottle of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as he visits a COVID-19 vaccination centre in Batley, West Yorkshire, England, on Monday. Photo:Jon Super - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The United Kingdom on Thursday launched a new clinical study to test the effects of mixing COVID-19 vaccines.

Why it matters: Per a statement from Oxford University virologist Matthew Snape, chief investigator of the world-first study: "If we do show that these vaccines can be used interchangeably in the same schedule this will greatly increase the flexibility of vaccine delivery."

Feb 4, 2021 - Health

Polling suggests vaccinating kids for COVID isn't very popular

Data: Verywell Health; Chart: Axios Visuals

A third of U.S. adults say they don't plan to get their children vaccinated against the coronavirus, and only about 4 in 10 say they do, according to recent polling by Verywell Health.

Why it matters: There isn't currently a vaccine available for children, but kids will eventually be an important component of reaching widespread immunity throughout the population.