Community immunity does not function as an anti-COVID-19 strategy


Sweden, which has never imposed isolation measures at the national level, has claimed that the population’s immunity in this way will lead to protection against the new virus. This tactic would have meant that many people would come into contact with the virus and become resistant to reduce the rate of long-term illness. But an analysis by University College London suggests that the Swedes have failed.

15% of the inhabitants of the Swedish capital have been infected so far, according to antibody tests. About 60% would be needed to gain immunity at the community level.

Sweden has had much higher infection and death rates than its Scandinavian neighbors. On June 23, there were 5,161 deaths – 511 cases per million inhabitants. And Norway and Finland had 45 and 59 deaths per million inhabitants, respectively. Sweden had five times more deaths than Denmark, which had 104 deaths per million inhabitants.

According to the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, the researchers said that Sweden’s strategy was to rely on people’s “individual responsibility” to reduce the spread of the disease. The idea follows the Swedish sociocultural concept of “folkvett” .

David Goldsmith, lead author of the study: It is clear that the rates of viral infection, hospitalization and mortality (per million inhabitants) are much higher than in neighboring Scandinavian countries. The trajectory of the epidemic in Sweden is different. We are seeing an increase in infection and mortality rates compared to Denmark, Finland and Norway. ”

He added that in these countries the rapid isolation imposed at the beginning of March seems to have been much more effective in reducing the spread of the virus and therefore managed to lessen the adverse consequences of COVID-19 on the whole country.

David Goldsmith, lead author of the study: We in the UK would do well to remember that we were to follow the same path as Sweden. At the beginning of March, we are also talking about collective immunization. Interestingly, infection rates in London and Stockholm were similar. Antibody tests suggest that 17% of Londoners have been infected and a similar situation can be found in the Swedish capital.

Therefore, the lack of restrictive measures in Sweden seems to have led to more infections and deaths. But figures in the UK, where isolation was imposed at the start of the pandemic, are not much lower than in Sweden.

“It simply came to our notice then. Unfounded ideas and theories require additional data when people’s lives are at stake, “said Dr. Simon Clarke of the University of Reading.

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