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

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Reproduced from KFF ; Chart: Axios Visuals

An increasing number of Americans say they want to get the coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible, per new KFF polling.

Yes, but: Race, partisanship and geography still serve as major dividing lines for vaccine enthusiasm. And people of color are less likely than white Americans to say they have been vaccinated themselves or know someone who has.

By the numbers: 41% of U.S. adults now say they'll get a vaccine as soon as it's made available to them, an increase from 34% in December. Another 6% said they have already been vaccinated.

  • The share of adults who said they want to wait and see how the vaccine is working for others before getting it dropped, from 39% in December to 31% this month.
  • Another 7% said this month that they'll only get the vaccine if required, and 13% said they definitely won't.

Between the lines: Vaccine enthusiasm increased across racial groups, but Black and Hispanic adults are still significantly more likely than white adults to say they want to wait and see before getting the vaccine, and enthusiasm is highest among white Americans.

  • And while enthusiasm has greatly increased among rural Americans, people living in rural areas remain much more likely than their urban counterparts to say they definitely won't get the vaccine.
  • Democrats remain the most enthusiastic political group about getting vaccinated, while Republicans' views remained nearly the same from December. Only 32% say they've already been vaccinated or want the vaccine as soon as possible, and a third say they definitely won't get one or will only do so if required.
Reproduced from KFF ; Chart: Axios Visuals

What we're watching: White adults are more likely than Black and Hispanic adults to say they've already been vaccinated or know someone who has.

  • Knowing someone who's been vaccinated is correlated with vaccine enthusiasm, suggesting that progress on equity will beget progress on hesitancy — which will benefit us all by getting us closer to herd immunity.

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 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

1 hour ago - Health

WHO: Not yet known whether Omicron leads to more severe disease

Photo illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The World Health Organization on Sunday said that it is not yet clear whether the newly discovered Omicron variant is more transmissible than other strains of the COVID-19 virus.

Why it matters: The agency's statement comes as the variant, discovered in South Africa, has already been detected in European and Asian countries.