Months after the infection has spread significantly, there may be clearance in sight. The National reproduction rate, R-number, has been less than 1 for ten days in a row, according to Public Health Agency calculations. The agency estimates that the number of new cases decreased by about 10 percent last week.
State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell announced that it is too early to say that evolution has stalled. But the government has now tasked the authority with developing a national plan for how to ease restrictions.
This is exactly what everyone craves and wants, says Social Affairs Minister Lena Hallingren (S) to TT.
Going towards better times
At the end of the week, news also came that the government would submit a proposal to raise the audience ceiling to 500 on May 17 – if the spread of infection permits.
For Joakim Esbjörnsson-Klemendz, Associate Professor of Virology at Lund University, it’s clear that we’re headed toward better times.
Indeed, in a month’s time, we’ll be able to see the numbers drop. But he says it depends on people continuing to follow the recommendations.
In addition to compliance with recommendations, he notes that vaccination release is critical for development.
We are already seeing a positive effect of vaccinations in some countries and regions, which went even further in launching vaccination, he says.
It is supported by Joachim Dillner, professor of infection epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute, who points to developments in Israel.
There, they began to notice the effect of the vaccination coverage of 40 percent. When coverage was as high as 60 percent, the infection disappeared very quickly, he says.
2.5 million people received their first dose
So far, 2.5 million Swedes have received the first dose. It makes up 29.3 percent of the country’s adult population. And now regions of the country are working to increase the vaccination rate.
I think we should see a sharp reduction in infection prevalence when vaccination coverage reaches 60 percent with the first dose, says Joachim Dillner and says:
If vaccines develop at a good speed, we have seen the end of the epidemic.
It also stresses that the approaching summer is conducive to development. Last year, it was judged that the seasonal change had lowered the spread of infection.
More recently, there have been formal systematic analyzes that estimate the risk of contracting an outdoor infection is only 5 percent compared to the risk of contracting an indoor infection. When we both go towards the summer and at the same time get high vaccination coverage, the virus will not have a chance, says Joachim Dillner.
Then the virus will not have a chance
Despite initial concerns about the ability of many new viral variants to evade antibodies, Joakim Esbjörnsson-Klemendz doesn’t think they will.
Initial editions (studies have not yet been reviewed. Note) have begun indicating that vaccines are effective even against new variants. So my estimate is that we will see a very positive effect of the vaccine rollout, despite the fact that different variants are being cyclical, he says.
Provided the vaccination rollout continues as planned, Joachim Dillner estimates there won’t be a fourth wave this fall.
In the fall, we admit that we are pretty much indoors, but after that we should have great protection from vaccination. I don’t think the virus will return after that. But it also depends on the fact that we have procedures in place to prevent infections from re-entering, he says, and highlights the restrictions on arrivals.