The 76-day Wuhan lockdown began a year ago with a notice sent to people’s smartphones at 2 a.m. announcing the airport and train and bus stations would shut at 10 a.m. It eventually was expanded to most of the rest of Hubei province, affecting 56 million people. By the time of the lockdown, the virus had spread well beyond China’s borders.
From the archives (Feb. 27, 2020): Diary of a quarantined American in coronavirus-era China
Wuhan has largely returned to normal.
The rollout of shots in the U.S. has been marked by delays, confusion and, in recent days, complaints of vaccine shortages and inadequate deliveries from the federal government as states ramp up their vaccination drives to include senior citizens as well as teachers, police and other groups.
At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday that of nearly 40 million doses distributed to the states so far, just 19 million have been dispensed.
Why there are reports of shortages when so many doses are apparently going unused is not entirely clear. But some vaccination sites are believed to be holding back large quantities to make sure that people who got their first shot receive the required second one on schedule a few weeks later.
At the rate vaccines are being delivered, Alabama officials said it would take two years to vaccinate all adults in the state of 5 million people.
“Every state had the idea that they were going to get much more vaccine than they ultimately got,” said Scott Harris, head of the state Department of Public Health. “There just wasn’t enough vaccine to go around.”
Louisiana said it plans to set up mass vaccination events but can’t do so until it receives larger quantities of vaccine. The state said it has been receiving about 60,000 doses weekly for the last few weeks and was told by federal officials to expect similar allocations for the next month or so.
“We all are asking for the exact same thing,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said of the nation’s governors. “We want more vaccine as soon as we can possibly get it, and we want more lead time to know how many doses we’re going to get so that we can do a better job of planning at the state level.”
In Boston, nearly 2,000 doses vaccine were spoiled at a Veterans Affairs hospital after a contractor accidentally unplugged a freezer.
Biden pledged to set up Federal Emergency Management Agency mass-vaccination sites, but some states said they need more doses of the vaccine, not more people or locations to administer them.
“We stand ready, willing and able to handle it,” Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, said. “Trying to find FEMA set up sites, first of all, that would take like 30 days. It’s not necessary in Florida. I would take all that energy and I would put that toward more supply of the vaccine.”