Tuesday, August 3

Increased infection rate in Sweden is not caused by winter sports holidays: Public Health Agency

When asked by The Local if he believed the ‘sportlov’ holidays had played a role in the current high levels of infection, Swedish state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said his current understanding was that the holidays had had “no effect whatsoever.” based on infection. rates in and around mountain resorts.

An analysis conducted in Skåne, southern Sweden, he added, even suggested that the spread of the infection had been greater among those who stayed home for the week of vacation than among those who spent it in the mountains.

“There was some data from southern Sweden where they compared the number of people who returned from a ski holiday who were infected, and compared it to the number of infections reported among people who stayed in Skåne, and there seemed to be an over-representation between the people who stayed in Skåne compared to those who left. ”

“A fairly rapid increase”

At the press conference, Tegnell said the number of new cases per day had increased by about 18 percent over the past two weeks.

“Unfortunately, over the last two weeks, we’ve had a pretty significant increase, about 18 percent,” he said. “We are still in a phase where we have a generalized infection. It is not sustainable to stay at this level for long. Sweden absolutely needs to significantly reduce the infection rate. ”

When asked why his agency did not introduce more restrictions, as other countries have, Tegnell noted that those countries were also experiencing an increase in infection rates.

“This is a pattern that we are seeing in many countries, even countries with fairly broad restrictions are seeing quite a strong increase,” he said.

How the number of new weekly cases in Sweden has changed since the week starting July 20 and last week. Source: Public Health Agency

The increase in the number of cases was followed, he said, by an increase in admissions to intensive care wards.

The number of people admitted to intensive care each week in Sweden since the start of the pandemic. Source: Public Health Agency

The positive point of the update was that the number of deaths per day continues to decrease week after week, even if its rate of decrease has slowed down.

“As we said earlier, this is most likely the result of vaccination work, which means that people in senior care facilities are now well protected,” Tegnell said. “Now virtually everyone who lives in a nursing home is protected.”

Sweden has now administered 1,385,975 doses of vaccine, with 971,736 people receiving one dose and 414,239 receiving both doses. About 11.9 percent of those over the age of 18 have received at least one dose.

But Tegnell said the country still has “a long way to go” before vaccines impact the spread of the virus. This is partly due to the fact that it is mainly the elderly who have been vaccinated so far, who are not significant drivers of infection, and also because the virus, and in particular the more recently reported variants, is very contagious.

The number of deaths per day continues to decline, despite a growing number of cases and an increase in intensive care admissions. Source: Public Health Agency

Is there no AstraZeneca vaccine for women under 55?

When asked by The Local if the Public Health Agency could decide to withhold the AstraZeneca vaccine from certain subsections of the population, on the grounds that nearly all those affected by life-threatening blood clots have been women under the age of 55, Tegnell He said that was a possibility that was being considered.

“We are looking at different scenarios. And that’s definitely one of the possible answers, ”Tegnell said.

The agency aims to understand “which groups are affected and which less so we can see which groups we can vaccinate,” he said.

“We’re almost there,” he said of the decision to resume vaccinations with the AstraZeneca jab. “We are planning to present a report and also a proposal on how we will continue vaccinating in two days.”

He said he hoped the decision to suspend the use of the AstraZeneca jab for more than a week would not undermine public confidence.

“We hope that the delay we’ve had while we thoroughly analyze the evidence will increase confidence in the vaccine again by creating an understanding of where the risks are and where they are not.”


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