Boris Johnson warned against following herd immunity strategy after No 10 briefed by Sweden's top scientist
- Credit: Archant
Public health experts have warned Boris Johnson against pursing herd immunity or mimicking Sweden coronavirus response.
Independent SAGE - an independent group of scientists who provide advice to the government - has warned Britain is in a "dangerous place".
The committee released a report in which it advised against the strategy of herd immunity or following Sweden's response to keep borders, shops and restaurants open during a peak, after it emerged Downing Street was briefed by the country's top scientist, Anders Tegnell.
The report comes after a group of UK scientists advocated for herd immunity in a letter to the Spectator this week.
It said: "A deliberate strategy of attempting to raise the level of population immunity by allowing or encouraging people at lower risk of hospitalisation or death to become infected is not only unlikely to achieve the desired objective of population immunity, but risks a significant amount of avoidable death and illness, without protecting the economy."
You may also want to watch:
Current evidence suggests immunity would not last longer than a year, the paper warned.
It explained: "In addition, guaranteed shielding of vulnerable groups is infeasible and there would be substantial mortality and morbidity even among the ‘non-vulnerable’.
- 1 The only Brexit export boom is from UK businesses rushing to Europe
- 2 MEPs again refuse to ratify Brexit deal amid concerns No 10 is flouting conditions
- 3 Boris Johnson proposes saving United Kingdom with 'Project Love' plan
- 4 The stench of scandal seeping out from Britain
- 5 PMQs: Commons speaker reprimands Boris Johnson over Greensill response
- 6 Former Brexit secretary 'privately agreed' with Gina Miller's court action over Article 50
- 7 How the vaccines have shifted opinions over Brexit
- 8 Tory anger as Labour to hold vote on establishing committee to investigate cronyism
- 9 Tory candidate under fire after describing Brexit chaos as a 'hiccup'
- 10 David Cameron 'only sorry he got caught', MPs told
"It would also increase health and social inequalities, with the most disadvantaged groups, particularly the elderly, deprived and the ethnic minority groups, being disproportionately impacted."
It went on to say an "excellent" contact tracing system was needed to avoid a second lockdown.
It added: "Other countries have shown that the infection rates can be suppressed without highly damaging ‘lockdowns’ by using established infection control procedures, including excellent contact tracing followed by supported isolation."
The group published a second report which looked at Sweden's coronavirus response.
It cautioned against following the advice of Sweden's chief public health expert.
"The idea that Sweden has no restrictions or lockdown is a misconception and secondly the assertion that its strategy is successful is far from clear."
It concluded: "There is little to suggest in this chart that Sweden’s strategy is better than its Nordic neighbours (particularly Norway and Finland) and a lot to suggest that it is worse with a much larger burden of disease over spring and the summer.
"While it is certainly possible that the winter will evolve very differently for Sweden compared to the other countries, it is far too early to know.
"We need to recognise that the UK is not Sweden – and what works there might well not work here for the reasons outline above."
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.