- A study comparing exposure to coronavirus in London and Stockholm left more doubts about the herd’s immunity.
- It shows that the two capital cities have the same infection rates – 17% – in early summer.
- This is despite the UK and Sweden adopting very different approaches to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Unlike the UK and most other countries, Sweden has chosen to resist strict door locking measures.
- This decision was made in part with the belief that herd immunity could be achieved.
- The Swedish state epidemiologist predicts that 40% of Stockholm will have antibodies by May.
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Stockholm and London both had similar rates of coronavirus infection in the early summer, according to a new study, raising many doubts about herd immunological theory.
Unlike most European countries, Sweden has not implemented strict door locks in response to outbreaks of the COVID-19 virus. Instead, it allows shops, bars and restaurants to remain open widely and students go to school.
The UK, like most other countries, has imposed a nationwide embargo, with Boris Johnson’s government shutting down offices, schools and the hospitality industry, and restricting social communication. between individuals.
Swedish state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, who is widely recognized as the architect of the country’s controversial response to the pandemic, has justified Sweden’s response by saying that countries imposing strict closures are most likely to suffer the second biggest by the end of the year, while Sweden will be smaller.
In April, he predicted that by May 40% of people in the Swedish capital Stockholm would develop coronavirus antibodies.
However, a study carried out by scholars from University College London and published in the Journal of the Royal British Medical Association, estimated that the degree of infection in Stockholm in April was practically around 17% – the same level as in London, according to analysis of tests conducted in the UK capital in April and May.
The study poses a further challenge to herd’s immunity – the hypothesis that a population becomes immune to coronavirus when at least 60% of people have it.
Sweden opted against strict containment measures in part because it believes this level of infection is achievable in the near future.
Dr Simon Clarke, professor of Cell Microbiology at the University of Reading, told the Daily Mail: “Natural swarm immunity, created by having COVID-19 scans over populations, has It may be an attractive stance to some for lack of embargoes or restrictions on everyone’s freedom, but it’s just an idea that lacks supporting data.
He continued: “Sweden’s experience of trying to achieve this, compared to the reactions of other Nordic countries, has resulted in a much higher number of infections and deaths per capita, in addition to outbreaks. extended play ”.
“These findings will prove a great warning that compelling theories and concepts require supporting data when human lives are at stake and should not be used to align the story has been formed before. “
5,770 people in Sweden died after testing positive for coronavirus as of Wednesday morning, which is one of the highest rates of death toll per capita in Europe.
This figure is much higher than that of neighboring countries with similar political systems and social customs. The country’s per capita death toll is 5 times that of Denmark, 11 times more than Norway and nearly 10 times that of Finland.
The UK is ‘almost on the same road’ with Sweden
There is currently insufficient evidence that coronavirus antibodies provide immunity to the virus. People infected with the virus often develop antibodies, which can be measured with tests.
It is not clear, however, whether there is an antibody that provides total – or even partial – immunity to COVID-19, or how long that effect could last.
A Kings London University study published last month found that while 60% of coronavirus-infected people had “strong” antibodies, only 17% had the same potency three months later. The potency of the antibodies decreased 23 times in three months and in some cases the antibodies were not detectable by the end of that time period.
“These findings put” another nail in the coffin of the dangerous concept of herd immunity, “said Jonathan Heeney, professor of virology at Cambridge University.
The UK government of Prime Minister Johnson denied initially attempting to pursue a herd immune strategy before being warned that it would lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands.
An Italian health minister in June said Johnson had revealed plans to pursue herd immunity in a phone call with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on March 13, more than a week before the UK’s arrest. top closed nationwide.
On the same day, Patrick Vallance, the UK government’s chief scientific advisor, said he believes the UK will be able to achieve herd immunity.
The scientists behind the study, David Goldsmith and Eric Orlowski of UCL, said: “If not, this strategy looks like traditional Swedish venture capitalism, we in the UK will Well done if we remember that we were almost on the same path.
“For now, despite ‘strict (but delayed) embargoes’ in the UK, and Sweden’s response more measured, both countries have average Sars-CoV-2 mortality. in seven days high when compared to other Scandinavian and European countries. “