China's Lockdown

In late March, China started its largest lockdown in more than two years, with most of Shanghai’s 26 million residents confined to their homes in an effort to battle the rapid spread of Omicron. As of mid-April, 45 cities across the country were under some kind of lockdown. Though China’s overall vaccination rate is around 88 percent, just 80 percent of those over 60 had been fully vaccinatedas of early April. Only 55 percent had received boosters. With new research showing significant leaps in efficacy of Sinovac among the elderly after a third dose, the country has been ramping up its vaccination efforts. In the meantime, it is clear the hard lockdowns have come with costs. Online, Shanghai netizens have been sharinglockdown horror stories amid a rare showing of widespread public dissent. In agricultural areas, the lockdowns have raised concerns that key crops will go unharvested. In megacities like Shanghai, lockdowns have underscored vast inequality and the unequal distribution of government services—particularly for migrant workers. How sustainable are current government approaches to the latest wave of infections, and where are they likely to lead? —The Editors


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