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Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The TSA screened 1,176,091 people at checkpoints in the U.S. on Sunday, the highest number since mid-March, according to a spokesperson.

Why it matters: The CDC advised Americans on Nov. 19 not to travel for Thanksgiving, warning that doing so may increase their chances of contracting and spreading COVID-19. More than 93,000 people are currently hospitalized with the coronavirus, with many hospital systems on the brink of disaster.

Flashback: The TSA screened 2,882,915 people the Sunday after Thanksgiving last year — the highest volume in the agency's history.

Worth noting: In a Harris Poll survey conducted from Nov. 19 to Nov. 21. and shared exclusively with Axios, 25%-30% of Americans said they were likely to ignore health officials' warnings about the risks of gathering with family for Thanksgiving.

What to watch: Top infectious-disease expert Anthony Fauci warned on Sunday that the U.S. could see "a surge superimposed upon that surge that we're already in" as a result of travel around the Thanksgiving holiday.

Go deeper

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

Ex-CDC director Tom Frieden on the next COVID-19 vaccines

Americans fortunate enough to receive COVID vaccines now, outside of clinical trials, are getting shots made by either Pfizer or Moderna. But newly released data from Novavax and Johnson & Johnson suggests that more vaccines could be on the way, with J&J's requiring a single dose.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the news and why it matters with Tom Frieden, former head of the CDC, as COVID-19 variants spread globally.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

J&J says its one-shot vaccine is 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID

Photo: Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson announced Friday that its single-shot coronavirus vaccine was 66% effective in protecting against moderate to severe COVID-19 disease in Phase 3 trials, which was comprised of nearly 44,000 participants across eight countries.

Between the lines: The vaccine was 72% effective in the U.S., but only 57% effective in South Africa, where a more contagious variant has been spreading. It prevented 85% of severe infections and 100% of hospitalizations and deaths, according to the company.