Ayushman Ojha, Ground Report:
Sweden chose to follow the herd immunity plan over complete lockdown implemented in other European nations like Italy, France and Spain to tackle coronavirus. The plan which WHO believed to be “reckless and dangerous” was claimed to be “best in the world” by Johan Giesecke, the nation’s former chief epidemiologist and internationally recognised expert.
Herd immunity is a way to achieve mass immunity against an infection at a fast rate. It is usually adopted when an effective vaccine is unavailable and a larger number of people are getting affected by a pathogen and losing lives. The idea behind this is that when most of the people in a community are immune to a certain disease, its likelihood of spreading to the vulnerable ones indirectly becomes extremely low as the pathogen doesn’t get too many ways to spread.
Sweden has a population of 10.3 million and has the highest death rate per capita due to Covid-19. Former Swedish state epidemiologist Annika Linde, who was in office during two recent epidemics – the Swine Flu epidemic in 2009 and the Sars epidemic, three years later, says the government got it wrong not to lock the country down like the rest of the continent. The numbers says all that the plan of herd immunity has failed miserably. Many nations considered it to be a failed and reckless attempt in containing the pandemic.
The assumption by the chief epidemiologists of Sweden came out to be far from best way of fighting coronavirus. Moreover, some argued that Sweden was a unique case because of its demographics, or because of the fact that more people live in single-person households, and multi-generational family units are less common than they are in countries like Italy. In hindsight, however, it’s clear that Sweden is not a special case. A spokesperson for Sweden’s public health agency says that herd immunity was never a deliberate part of the plan. At the present time Sweden has around 42000 active cases 4500 plus deaths which makes the situation quite grave which it is.