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 By Amelia Nierenberg and Jonathan Wolfe

    The F.D.A. authorized Pfizer's vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds in the U.S.
    The world may never reach herd immunity for Covid-19, experts say.
    Medical experts are pushing for a national lockdown in India as the outbreak continues to rage there.
    Get the latest updates here, as well as maps and a vaccine tracker.
U.S. dip vs. E.U. rise

Only about 43 percent of Americans have received at least one shot of a vaccine, and demand for it is already plummeting.

Several states with surpluses are now telling the federal government to cut back on their future allotments. North Carolina, for example, reduced its deliveries by 40 percent last week. Connecticut asked for just 26 percent of its full supply, and South Carolina requested just 21 percent. On average, providers are administering about two million doses a day, down from a high of 3.38 million on April 13.

New doses per day in the U.S.The New York Times

Public health experts are concerned that the slowdown will lead to preventable hospitalizations and deaths in communities with lower vaccination rates.

The opposite phenomenon is taking place in the European Union, which has executed a remarkable turnaround in its immunization campaign. After stalling for months, the bloc has recently shored up a supply issue, and it is now administering about three million doses a day. Adjusted for population, the rate is roughly equivalent to the number of shots given each day in the U.S.

In areas across the E.U., a more hopeful phase of recovery is beginning to take hold.

Germany appears to have broken a third wave of infections thanks in part to the AstraZeneca vaccine, which regulators spent months scrutinizing. Spain ended its nationwide state of emergency and lifted curfews in most regions of the country, prompting celebratory street parties. And the British government is planning on lifting more restrictions on outdoor gatherings and may allow the return of indoor dining, movie theaters and exercise classes. In a significant, if highly symbolic, move, the government may also approve the hugging and kissing of friends and family members next week.

"I enjoy people's company and I know people are ready for me to be hugging again," said Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London. "The first person I'm going to hug is my mum."

Editor's note: As we head into the next phase of the pandemic, we'll have more coverage of places that are emerging from the pandemic and coming to terms with the new normal.
Do you miss ... commuting?

Our colleague Dan Barry actually does. In an article that reads more like a prose poem, Dan treated commuting as a metaphor for the strange anticipation of post-Covid reopening.

Ridership on New Jersey Transit had been stuck at about 18 percent of prepandemic levels. But in recent weeks, as more people have become vaccinated, there's been a slight uptick to about 25 percent of their normal capacity.

"Perhaps this signals a gradual return to how things had been," Dan writes, "or, perhaps, it is a harbinger of how things will be, given that many people now feel that they can work just as efficiently from home."

He can see the country's reopening in the space of one ride — from Maplewood, N.J., to Manhattan in New York.

With many empty seats, now every car is a "quiet car."Bryan Anselm for The New York Times

As the train moved eastward, I gazed through the clouded window at the rolling panorama of nearly imperceptible damage. A recently closed movie theater. A parking lot packed with yellow school buses. The many, many houses and apartment buildings that, for more than a year, have been like miniature prisons.

Still, here and there, I saw hope. A man laying down the white lines for the boundaries of a soccer field. Moderate traffic moving along Interstate 280. White-helmeted construction workers attending to some repair.

The train slithered past a small homeless encampment along the Passaic River in Newark; past the hay-colored swamps of the Meadowlands; past two people waiting for a connection at the Secaucus Junction station. Then it whooshed into a tunnel under Weehawken to begin its routine, extraordinary journey beneath the Hudson River.

The world beyond the train went dark. The air pressure changed. Cell service ended. For a few moments we existed in that in-between space — between then and now, here and there — before the lights of subterranean Manhattan, our destination, appeared.

The train pulled up beside its assigned platform. A disembodied voice told us to collect our belongings. And the doors opened with a sound like an exhalation.

The New Jersey Transit platform in Maplewood, N.J.Bryan Anselm for The New York Times
Vaccine rollout

    Europe has effectively abandoned the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, The Washington Post reports.
    In New York City, some subway stations will offer Johnson and Johnson's single-dose vaccine along with free MetroCards, The New York Post reports.
    Undercover state agents arrested a man in California for selling fake vaccination cards for $20 each.
    If you're in Romania, you can get vaccinated in Dracula's castle, the BBC reports.
    In Erie County, N.Y., some doses now come with free beer, The Buffalo News reports.

See how the vaccine rollout is going in your county and state.

If you've found this newsletter helpful, please consider subscribing to The New York Times — with this special offer. Your support makes our work possible.
What else we're following

    A potentially fatal fungal infection, mucormycosis, is emerging among Covid patients in India, perhaps because so many families are being forced to use oxygen therapy at home without proper hygiene protocols.

    Dr. Anthony Fauci said that he was open to relaxing indoor masking rules.
    More commercial flights means more unruly passengers, some of whom face hefty federal fines.
    China said on Sunday that it would partition Mount Everest's summit to prevent coronavirus cases from entering the country.
    Saudi Arabia will hold the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, but it has yet to specify rules.
    The Atlantic claims that the ideal work-from-home setup is three days in the office, and two at home.
What you're doing

During this pandemic, my mom was hospitalized for two strokes, a heart attack and a broken hip. We were not able to visit the hospital and had only outside, no-contact visits at the skilled nursing center where she recovered each time. On her most recent trip to the skilled nursing center, we finally had the opportunity to hug because we had both been vaccinated. There is nothing more precious than holding your elderly mother and celebrating that we have both survived this pandemic. Tears flowed from both our eyes. It is these precious moments we honor and celebrate. They are even more special.

— Jacki L. Fischer, Kent, Wash.

Kris~ Dreamweaver
7th May 2021.

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