In A Month, We Are Pretty Close To A Herd Immunity: Tegnell

Even as the epidemic has barely started, the State epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell of the Swedish Public Health Authority (FoHM)  believes it is almost over.

2021-12-06 13_56_27-Coronaviruset_ 2 april – 4 april _ SVT Nyheter — Mozilla Firefox

When do you think we will reach the culmination?
– If our forecasts are correct, we will be at this level for another couple of weeks and then we hope that we have reached a peak, says Anders Tegnell and continues:
  – In a month, I think we are pretty close to a herd immunity

Summary of today’s press conference with the Swedish Public Health Agency, the National Board of Health and Welfare and MSB:

  • 500 new cases reported in the last 24 hours.  A total of 5466 confirmed infections.
  • 429 in intensive care, most of them in Stockholm region
  • 282 total number of deaths

We are up to a new level of cases with 400-500 cases per day and unfortunately, that’s probably how it will continue for a while , says Anders Tegnell, state epidemiologist at the Public Health Agency.

(SVT April 2, 2020)
MSB: Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency

Currently in  Italy and other countries, high levels of infections lead to high numbers of deaths.  Nothing we have seen indicates that this has lead to a herd immunity in any of the countries affected.

In Italy, with population 6 times that of Sweden, the death rate has risen to 800/deaths per 24 hours.  Sweden has only seen a total of 282 deaths.  If there is such a thing as herd immunity by infection against Covid-19, Sweden is nowhere near to reach that.

According to Tegnell’s numbers, in Italy, a herd immunity should have been reached by now.  It has not.

If it hasn’t happened in Italy, it will not happen in Sweden.

800 deaths per 60 million people in Italy would be the equivalent of and average of 130 deaths every day in Sweden.  The Swedes would need to climb over a hill that is at least that high. And yet there would be no guarantee that there even is a herd immunity waiting on the other side.

Unlike immunity by vaccination, there is no way to reliably estimate the measure of immunization an individual might get from an infection. The idea of ‘letting an unknown virus spread in the population and immunize everyone’ is wishful thinking with no scientific support, and no basis in the published numbers from Sweden.

What is worse, the Sweden is not testing the infected or exposed, so there is no way of estimating the spreading of the virus in population.

For flock immunity, at least 70% of the population would need to be immunized.  Sweden has a population of 10,000,000.   Even if we make an outrageously optimistic assumption that everyone infected will acquire 100% immunity, it would mean 7,000,000 Swedes would have to be infected.  Assuming 1% of the infected will die, that would mean 70,000 deaths in Sweden by June 15. 

The statistics from China point  to a case fatality rate of just below 4%.  For a number of reasons, it is almost certain that number is too high.  Based on what we know, 1% is a reasonable assumption

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