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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Health officials are worried that misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines and infertility will drive down vaccination rates among women, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: False claims about the vaccines are rampant, and threaten to prevent the U.S. from vaccinating enough people to put the pandemic safely behind us.

Details: Twitter and Facebook posts have distorted the truth about mRNA vaccines, including false claims that the vaccines will attack the placenta, possible causing possible miscarriage or infertility.

By the numbers: About 12% of women in recent KFF polling said they had heard these false claims and either believed them or weren't sure whether they were true.

Go deeper

Feb 22, 2021 - Health

FDA: Modified vaccines for COVID variants would not require large clinical trials

Photo: Michael Sohn/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Developers for COVID-19 therapeutics, vaccines and testing do not need to conduct large and lengthy clinical trials to address new coronavirus variants, new guidance from the Food and Drug Administration said Monday.

Why it matters: Mutated versions of the coronavirus threaten to prolong the pandemic, possibly for years to come — especially if current treatments are rendered less effective. The FDA's updated recommendations could greatly accelerate the emergency authorization process to address these concerns.

Feb 22, 2021 - Health

Over 500,000 dead from coronavirus in U.S.


Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than half a million people in the U.S. have died from the coronavirus as of Monday, according to Johns Hopkins data.

Why it matters: The death toll is larger than the total number of U.S. soldiers killed in action in World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War combined. It comes just one year after the country's first coronavirus death was confirmed.

Feb 22, 2021 - Health

Boris Johnson unveils roadmap to fully reopen England's economy by June 21

Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled a four-step roadmap on Monday to "remove all legal limits on social contacts" in England by no earlier than June 21, assuming certain tests are met.

Why it matters: The U.K. has the worst coronavirus death toll in Europe and saw its economy contract by 9.9% in 2020 — the biggest drop in output in more than 300 years.