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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: Pfizer begins study on 3rd vaccine dose as booster shot against new strains — Republicans are least likely to want the coronavirus vaccine
  3. U.S. news: California surpasses 50,000 deaths COVID-19 deaths, more than any other state — Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter return to church after receiving COVID-19 vaccines
  4. Local: Public transit ridership in Twin Cities dropped 53% amid pandemic — Data firm predicts "complete chaos" in next phases of Florida's vaccine rolloutAlaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy tests positive for the coronavirus

Cases:

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET Thursday: 112,868,301 — Total deaths: 2,504,036 — Total recoveries: 63,676,390 (no longer includes U.S. recoveries as of Dec. 15) Map
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET Thursday: 28,397,735 — Total deaths: 507,806 — Total tests: 344,152,556Map

What should I do? Axios asked the experts:

Other resources:

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Editor's note: Johns Hopkins University stopped reporting U.S. COVID-19 recoveries on its dashboard on Dec. 15, citing a Coronavirus Tracking Project post that explained the national data is incomplete since several states do not keep records of recovered patients.

Go deeper

New coronavirus cases fall by 20%

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

New coronavirus infections continued their sharp decline over the past week, and are now back down to pre-Thanksgiving levels.

The big picture: Given the U.S.’ experience over the past year, it can be hard to trust anything that looks like good news, without fearing that another shoe is about to drop. But the U.S. really is doing something right lately. Cases are way down, vaccinations are way up, and that’s going to save a lot of lives.

19 hours ago - Health

Pfizer begins study on 3rd vaccine dose as booster shot against new variants

Photo: Pete Bannan/MediaNews Group/Daily Local News via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech on Thursday announced they have launched a study to evaluate whether a third dose of their COVID-19 vaccine can protect against new variants of the virus.

Why it matters: Vaccine makers are racing to find effective ways to fight more infectious virus variants. There is no evidence that the current vaccines are not effective against the new variants, but companies are looking for ways to adapt to new mutations in case it becomes necessary.

20 hours ago - Health

"Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis

Illustration: Axios Visuals

Reports of the flu have "virtually disappeared" in the U.S. amid the coronavirus pandemic, the AP reports, during a season when the disease would otherwise be packing doctors' offices and hospitals.

The intrigue: The drop in flu illnesses is in part a byproduct of efforts intended to curb the spread of COVID-19 — like wearing masks, social distancing, and remote schooling, experts tell AP. The significant drop in travel, as well as a public push to encourage people to get the flu vaccine, also likely had an effect.

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