Sweden's voluntary coronavirus lockdown strategy is failing, study shows

Henrietta Brewer
May 23, 2020

Sweden was one of a handful of countries that did not implement a lockdown to curb the pandemic even as much of the world shut down.

This figure, confirmed to Sweden's Public Health Authority CNN, is on par with other countries that have data, and less than 70-90% of what is needed to create "herd immunity" of the population.

The research, based on 1,100 tests across Sweden and carried out by the country's public health agency, found that just 7.3% of people had developed antibodies which could provide immunity, Reuters reported.

Herd immunity is reached when the majority of a given population - 70 to 90% - becomes immune to an infectious disease, either because they have become infected and recovered, or through vaccination.

A Swedish study found that just 7.3 percent of Stockholmers developed COVID-19 antibodies by late April, which could fuel concern that a decision not to lock down Sweden against the pandemic may bring little herd immunity in the near future.

"It means either the calculations made by the agency and myself are quite wrong, which is possible, but if that's the case it's surprising they are so wrong", Britton said.

The Swedish government has not explicitly said that it is aiming for herd immunity but has said that it wishes to slow the spread of the virus in order to ensure that the capacity of its health service is not breached.

No community has yet achieved this goal and a vaccine "will lead to herd immunity faster" than infections, said Michael Mina, assistant professor of epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan in a recent study.

Business Insider reports the Nordic country has a soaring death rate, with numerous oldest, frailest people left vulnerable to catching the virus.

Experts say at least 60% of a population needs to catch the virus before any protective immunity can be achieved. A report he wrote along with other epidemiologists and a historian estimated that it would take 18 to 24 months. I think that's valuable information, Kan We should not rely on it completely.

On April 24, chief epidemiologist Tegnell told BBC radio that the authorities believed Stockholm had "an immunity level. somewhere between 15 and 20% of the population".

He said the strategy "worked in some respects ... because our healthcare system has been able to cope. At least 20% of the intensive care beds were always empty and Covid-19 was able to take care of patients", he said.

"It will certainly affect the reproduction rate and slow down the spread", he said, but added that it would not be enough to achieve "herd immunity".

Sweden According to Johns Hopkins University statistics, there are now 32,172 cases and 3,871 deaths.

Other reports by iNewsToday