Iceland’s chief epidemiologist made news last week for saying natural immunity would be the only way to beat COVID.
Iceland, like Israel, has been among the most highly vaccinated populations in the world. But that hasn’t conferred herd immunity, Thorolfur Guðnason admitted in remarks reported by the Icelandic news outlet visir.
Despite the fact that the bulk of Iceland’s population has been vaccinated, a record number of individuals have been diagnosed infected in recent weeks, one and a half months after lockdown restrictions were lifted. The equivalent to 100,000 U.S. infections a day are occuring there.
“We really can not do anything else,” said Gunason, when asked whether the nation must be allowed to become infected to achieve herd immunity.
“The vaccination has prevented a serious illness, there is no question about that,” Gunason stated.
But he said it’s necessary to acknowledge how many people become infected after vaccination, and to move in a different direction. Mass vaccinations at very high levels failed to stop variants from spreading.
The country’s lead epidemiologist now believes the only method to establish herd immunity is to allow the virus to propagate across the population. “We just need to shuffle the cards and come up with new plans.”
Gunason said the virus should be allowed to run its course, while taking measures to safeguard susceptible populations in order to avoid severe disease. The aim, he added, cannot be to eliminate the virus from society, since trying to do so is likely an impossible goal.

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