Sweden’s chief epidemiologist wanted to keep schools open to spread Covid in drive for herd immunity, emails show – Telegraph.co.uk

” We have also thought about that, however in time the kids are still going to spread out the infection.”

The email recommends that, at least in the first half of March, this was not something he was wholly persuaded of, because if that were the case keeping schools open would have little impact on levels of immunity.

Dr Tegnell has actually consistently argued in public that as well as being typically asymptomatic, children do not spread coronavirus to any excellent degree, even to each other.

” True,” Dr Tegnell responds, “however probably primarily to each other because of the very age-stratified contact structure we have.”

Mr Salminen replied that his agency had turned down the idea after thinking about that allowing a spread between children would likewise increase the rate of spread elsewhere in society.

4 days later, Dr Tegnell said on Swedish state tv that he didnt think children spread coronavirus.

When approached for comment, Dr Tegnell argued that he had actually been talking about possibilities not expectations in his e-mail to Mr Salminen.

In July, The Public Health Agency of Sweden released a joint research study with the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare, which found a similar rate of coronavirus cases amongst children in Sweden, which kept schools open, as in Finland, which closed them.

” When we ask around in China we discover that they havent been able to see any spread from children,” he said. “That doesnt suggest children dont get the illness at all, however they dont appear to spread it.”

Other emails support this, indicating that at this early stage, Dr Tegnell had yet to totally decide on the function of children.

The day after his e-mail to Mr Salminen, Dr Tegnell replied to his predecessor as state epidemiologist, Annika Linde, who had sent him an email arguing that children, who can be greatly impacted by flu, seemed “symptom-free spreaders” of coronavirus.

” My comments were about a possible impact, not an anticipated one, which was a part of the evaluation of the suitability of the measure,” he stated. “Keeping schools open up to accomplish herd immunity was for that reason never ever current [as a strategy]”.

” This can alleviate the accumulation of a minimum of momentary resistance in the population …,” she wrote to him. “But nearly asymptomatic spreading likewise increases the danger of infecting run the risk of groups.”.

In his reply, Dr Tegnell questioned her argument. “The function of children in this epidemic is hard to understand, I think. Obviously they are not the motor of the epidemic similar to influenza.”.

This recommends that keeping schools open did not increase the spread amongst children.

” My comments were about a possible effect, not an expected one, which was a part of the evaluation of the suitability of the procedure,” he said. In his reply, Dr Tegnell questioned her argument. “The role of children in this epidemic is tough to understand, I believe. Apparently they are not the motor of the epidemic as with influenza.”.