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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Mastercard’s main business is providing payments card technology, but it turns out that the same tech can be used for much higher purposes: saving lives in some of the poorest countries in the world.

The big picture: Thanks to a partnership between Mastercard and Gavi, the global vaccination alliance, children will be given a "digital birth certificate" that looks a lot like a standard credit card. That card can then be taken into any clinic, which will be able to see exactly which vaccinations the child has received and which shots are still needed.

  • The card is also linked to the parent's phone number, so they receive reminder texts for follow-up appointments.
  • With a central record for which children have received which immunizations, local governments will be able to assess coverage and adjust programs accordingly.

The bottom line: Vaccinating the world's most remote children is a significant undertaking, but it's the most effective way we know to transform communities for the better. Other technologies being tried out by Gavi include deliveries by drone, as well as solar-powered fridges that can be used to preserve shots on trips into isolated areas.

Go deeper: Vaccine skepticism helped make European measles prolific again

Go deeper

Journalism enters dangerous new era

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The Capitol attack on Jan. 6 resulted in at least nine physical assaults against journalists and at least five arrests, per the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker's top editor.

Why it matters: President Trump's harsh rhetoric towards the press has empowered leaders abroad and locally in the U.S. to continue to attack press that they don't like.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The beginning of the beginning for Biden's climate push

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Joe Biden's inauguration and the days right after will bring a rat-tat-tat burst of climate policy moves, but keep this in mind amid the splashy pledges: pushing through most of his agenda will be a long, uncertain slog.

Why it matters: Biden's climate plan is far more expansive than anything contemplated under President Obama. But for all the immediate pledges, it will take years to see how far Biden gets.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Biden's inflation danger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal has economists and bullish market analysts revising their U.S. growth expectations higher, predicting a reflation of the economy in 2021 and possibly more booming returns for risk assets.

Yes, but: Others are warning that what's expected to be reflation could actually show up as inflation, a much less welcome phenomenon.