Health & Fitness Sweden's top Covid expert says strict lockdowns not 'a success story'
Denmark will SWAP unwanted AstraZeneca jabs after ditching it entirely
Denmark's health minister Magnus Heunicke confirmed on Monday that discussions were taking place between Denmark and other nations over vaccine swaps, but did not say with whom.Meanwhile, it was announced by the Swedish Health Agency on Tuesday that Swedes under 65 who have had one shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be given a different vaccine for their second dose.
Sweden's chief epidemiologist today said 'shutting more hasn't been shown to be a success story' despite rising Covid-19 infections and intensive care admissions.
Anders Tegnell, who became internationally known as the figurehead of the Swedish response to the pandemic, said tougher restrictions are not the way to bring the country's third wave under control.
Sweden, which has shunned strict lockdowns, saw a near 10% increase in Covid-19 admissions to intensive care wards last week, while the number of people testing positive has surged.
'To shut more hasn't been shown to be a success story', Tegnell said in an interview in daily Dagens Nyheter.
Ultrasound treatment 'jump-started' the brains of 2 people in coma-like state
The two patients who received the treatment showed significant progress over just days.Both patients had severe brain injuries and had shown only limited signs of consciousness for more than a year. But after receiving the treatment — which involved ultrasound to "excite" cells in a brain region called the thalamus — the patients showed sudden improvements in their condition, according to the study, published Jan. 15 in the journal Brain Stimulation. For example, after treatment, one patient could move their head to indicate "yes" or "no" in response to certain questions.
'Basically, what we need is more adherence to the advice and the restrictions that are already in place. I am extremely convinced that we have implemented the most important measures already.'
Schools have mainly remained open during the pandemic, but the government has gradually tightened restrictions on public gatherings, opening hours for restaurants and alcohol sales and has limited numbers allowed in stores, amongst other measures.
MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD one step closer to FDA approval
Barring results from an additional trial, the treatment could be approved within a few years.The study, soon to be published in the journal Nature Medicine, included 90 people with PTSD who all underwent talk therapy during the trial; these participants included combat veterans, first responders and victims of sexual assault, mass shootings, domestic violence or childhood trauma, the Times reported.
Sweden has mostly relied on voluntary measures focused on social distancing, good hygiene and targeted restrictions that have kept shops and restaurants largely open. But surveys show that people have recently being paying less attention to the rules.
The approach has led to criticism at home and abroad for being reckless and not enough to protect vulnerable groups from the disease - but it has spared the economy from much of the hit suffered elsewhere in Europe.
Yet 43 per cent of Swedes have high or very high confidence in how the pandemic is being handled, while 30 per cent have low or very low confidence, according to a recent survey.
Sweden's government and public health authority have conceded they failed to protect the elderly, especially in care homes.
Chernobyl's liquidators didn’t pass on radiation damage to their children
Exposure to Chernobyl radiation increased the risk of thyroid cancer by breaking DNA strands, but the effects didn't carry to the next generation.The new research is a step forward in understanding the mechanisms that drive human thyroid cancer, said Stephen Chanock, the director of the division of cancer epidemiology and genetics at the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the senior author on both research papers. It's also reassuring for those exposed to radiation in events such as the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster and who plan to start families, Chanock told Live Science.
But they have maintained they did what they could to suppress the disease, while also taking the general health of the population into account.
Sweden's official Covid-19 death toll is more than 13,000, which is much higher per capita than that of its Nordic neighbours who opted for harder measures.
But excess mortality - a measure of how many more deaths a country has seen than in an average period - was smaller in Sweden in 2020 than in most European countries.
The Nordic country had 7.7 per cent more deaths than usual, a figure comparing favourably with countries such as Spain (18.1 per cent) and Belgium (16.2 per cent) which have both imposed tough restrictions.
Sweden's excess mortality has also been measured as lower than in Britain, where some MPs have looked admiringly at the Swedish approach.
Preliminary data from EU agency Eurostat, analysed by Reuters, showed that 21 of the 30 countries with available figures had higher excess mortality than Sweden's 7.7 per cent.
The figure refers to the increase in overall deaths in 2020 compared to the average for the previous four years.
The figure is intended to show the broader impact of the pandemic because excess deaths could include people who were never tested for Covid-19 or died of other causes because health services were overwhelmed.
Tegnell said last week he believed the data raised doubts about the use of lockdowns.
'I think people will probably think very carefully about these total shutdowns, how good they really were,' he said.
'They may have had an effect in the short term, but when you look at it throughout the pandemic, you become more and more doubtful,' said Tegnell.
Academic: Neil Ferguson's lockdown argument was 'too good to be true' .
Neil Ferguson and colleagues at Imperial College London have been accused of jumping to the conclusion that lockdown was effective, then making assumptions to support their belief. The epidemiologist, dubbed ‘Professor Lockdown’, co-wrote a paper in June that calculated tough restrictions on leaving the house were almost single-handedly responsible for cutting the virus’s R-rate of reproduction across Europe last spring.