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

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Data: Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index; Chart: Axios Visuals

Vaccine rates are increasing and COVID-19 cases are declining, which is opening up businesses and driving job growth that looks broad, making inequality in actual job losses relatively low, according to the Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index.

What it means: This data is based on whether or not survey respondents have lost pay or income in the past four weeks, rather than whether they are worried about losing it. This is also represented as standard deviations.

By the numbers: With a reading of 1.7, the employment outcomes metric is the lowest of all four index components.

What we're hearing: "While the employment outcomes graph looks a bit flat, it did fall pretty notably over the past few months," Morning Consult chief economist John Leer says in an email.

Between the lines: "That dataset is looking at the share of people who have lost pay or income, so if you've lost your job once and are still looking for work, you are unlikely to be counted as losing your job again," he adds.

  • "This explains why it looks a bit flat compared to financial vulnerability, a factor that can fluctuate more dramatically."

Go deeper

Updated Nov 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: U.S. to mandate vaccines for anyone who crosses borders starting in January — Shots lagged data by months — The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort.
  2. Health: The Thanksgiving bouncers — Axios-Ipsos poll: Thanksgiving roulette — Experts criticize CDC's language on vaccine boosters — America's Thanksgiving gamble.
  3. Politics: Biden administration asks appeals court to reinstate vaccine mandate — Michigan recommends face masks for all residents amid surge.
  4. Education: A COVID strategy backfires at schools — Schools across the U.S. offer vaccine drivesBenefits of in-person school outweigh risks, study finds.
  5. World: EU drug regulator recommends Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids — Italy announces new COVID restrictions for unvaccinated people — European health agency urges expanding booster shot access.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Sep 2, 2021 - Health

Israeli coronavirus vaccine booster data gives the U.S. hope

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Preliminary Israeli data shows that coronavirus booster shots quickly spike a person's protection against both severe disease and infection, suggesting that the additional shots could help blunt the virus' spread in the U.S. — although it's very unclear how much.

Why it matters: The Biden administration has said that the main rationale for its booster push is to stay ahead of any waning of the vaccines' effectiveness against severe disease. But slowing the spread of the Delta variant would be a welcome bonus.

Ousted Tennessee vaccine chief sues state officials for defamation over firing

Michelle Fiscus. Photo: William DeShazer for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Michelle Fiscus, Tennessee’s fired vaccine chief, filed a federal defamation lawsuit on Thursday, alleging state officials skewed facts and misled the public as part of a coordinated campaign to destroy her reputation.

The backdrop: Fiscus was fired in July after facing criticism from Republican lawmakers over messaging to teenagers about the COVID-19 vaccine. A public battle ensued over Fiscus and her job performance.