Waiting for the coronavirus vaccine is a risky strategy, according to the architect of the Swedish plan Covid-19 which has warned that steps must be taken to protect people who are “sustainable and can continue for a long time”.
Anders Tegnell, Swedish chief epidemiologist and person in charge state decision to keeping the economy open and avoiding locking, told The Telegraph: “Many people claim that Sweden’s strategy is very risky but I would say that putting confidence in vaccines is also very risky.”
More than 100 different projects are being carried out around the world to develop vaccines for the corona virus, which Boris Johnson described last month as “the only viable long-term solution” to ending the crisis.
But Dr. Tegnell, who is a state epidemiologist for the Swedish Public Health Agency, questioned whether this was a realistic or feasible approach.
“Historically, it has not been easy to produce a vaccine for a disease – and this is a disease where immunology seems quite complicated,” he said. “That’s usually not a good sign that the vaccine will work very well.”
He said countries should use long-term and sustainable measures designed to reduce transmission, because the virus “will remain with us for a substantial time, maybe forever”.
Unlike other countries in Europe that implement mandatory locking measures to stop the spread of the virus, Sweden adopted a more scalable approach, including voluntary measures. Restaurants, bars and schools are all allowed to remain open.
As a result, the Swedish economy is not very affected. Figures released last month showed Sweden’s GDP contracted only 0.3 percent in the first three months of this year, compared with 3.8 percent in the entire euro zone.
In Britain, meanwhile, the economy contracted 2pc, the sharpest decline since the height of the financial crisis.
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