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The Debate

Worth the risk? Sweden bets on herd immunity

By: François PICARD Follow | Alessandro XENOS

Just how big a gamble did Sweden take when it bucked the trend in Scandinavia and opted never to lock down the country? Its death toll now far exceeds that of its less populated neighbours, with the virus most notably tearing through nursing homes. The payoff, argue the Swedes, is that more than an estimated one quarter of the population is now immune to the coronavirus. Herd immunity was never an option in France, where hospitals were quickly overrun with patients. In past pandemics, citizens never considered lockdown as an option. What can history teach us about the present crisis?

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