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Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Michelle McGhee, Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The number of coronavirus cases in nursing homes and assisted living facilities has drastically declined over the last two months, almost certainly an effect of vaccinations.

Why it matters: Nursing homes have been devastated by the virus, which is why residents were among the first Americans to be vaccinated.

The big picture: Nursing home vaccinations began in the second half of December, and around 4.5 million residents or staff have received at least one dose of the vaccine so far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Long-term care facilities have been responsible for 35% of all coronavirus deaths in the U.S., despite accounting for less than 1% of the population, per The COVID Tracking Project.

Between the lines: Researchers in Scotland reported yesterday that the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine reduced COVID-related hospitalizations among the elderly by 85%, the Washington Post reports.

  • The AstraZeneca vaccine, which isn't yet available in the U.S., reduced seniors' hospitalizations by 94%.

The bottom line: The vaccines are working.

Go deeper

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.

Updated 20 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
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.