Sweden’s approach to the coronavirus pandemic was different to other European countries, as they never imposed a national lockdown. Instead, officials claimed herd immunity would protect its population. But new research suggests the approach hasn’t worked.
Herd immunity, which was briefly discussed as an approach by the UK Government, involves large numbers of the population contracting and then becoming resistant to a disease.
When a large proportion of the community becomes immune, it makes spreading the disease unlikely – ensuring everyone is protected.
But analysis by University College London suggests herd immunity hasn’t taken off in Sweden.
Only 15 percent of the population in Stockholm, the country’s capital, have been infected so far, according to antibody testing.
Some 60 percent would be needed to acquire herd immunity.
Sweden’s approach also failed to keep coronavirus infection rates and deaths down, with their tolls being much higher than its Scandinavian neighbours.
As of June 23, it had recorded 5,161 deaths – 511 per million of the Swedish population.
That is about ten times higher than those in Norway, which had 45 deaths per million and Finland, which had 59 deaths per million.
And five times higher than Denmark, which had 104 deaths per million.
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