The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has claimed that “herd immunity” from the Wuhan coronavirus will be achieved by Autumn of 2021 at the earliest.
Josep Jansa, an epidemiologist at the ECDC, said that the Chinese virus continues to change rapidly and that the agency has been reluctant to give solid advice for issues like international travel. But he said that the ECDC has offered indicators to EU member states on what stage of the infection they may be in.
The epidemiologist added, during an interview with Finnish broadcaster YLE on Monday: “People have learned to do the right thing in terms of hygiene. This first wave is also waning. We believe that the situation will calm down by the summer.”
Jansa went on to speak of the negative consequences of the virus, saying: “The situation has serious consequences for society. Unemployment, debt, poverty are rising. It is very difficult for very many people. Many have lost relatives. Some have lived in complete isolation, and it affects mental health.”
Swedish Virus Deaths 'Catastrophically High' But Herd Immunity Not on Horizon https://t.co/dCU3qCmaY5
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While most countries enacted lockdown measures to stop the spread of the virus, Sweden did not and has been seen by some as adopting an approach to achieve so-called “herd immunity”.
A report from last month revealed that only 7.3 per cent of Stockholmers, the area in Sweden most affected by the virus, had antibodies against the virus, the number reduced to just 3.7 per cent nationwide.
Jansa said herd immunity, which can require up to 60 per cent of the public to have antibodies, is unlikely to be seen anywhere in the world in the coming months.
“Herd immunity will not be achieved until the Autumn of 2021, not here in Stockholm either. There will be some degree of protection, but herd protection requires that 60 per cent of people have contracted the disease,” he said.