Many have probably longed for the participation ceiling for both public and private events to be removed, as well as the advice to work from home. But with freedom comes, as is well known, responsibility, both for one’s own and others’ health.
Farshid Jalalvand, who is a researcher in clinical microbiology at Lund University, believes that you can assess your risk of becoming ill and infecting others by answering three questions: How is my health? What does my vaccination status look like? What does the spread of infection look like where I live?
For those who are fully vaccinated and do not have an underlying disease, it is quite easy to answer the questions and come to a conclusion. Two syringes provide good protection against severe disease and death in covid-19. The fully vaccinated person also has protection against so-called asymptomatic infection (ie disease without symptoms). If you still become infected, the amount of virus is less in the body, which reduces the risk of infecting others. All in all, this means that those who have received two vaccine injections and are healthy have a low risk of becoming ill or infecting others, and can therefore feel quite safe back in the office. But it is important to continue to keep track of the spread of infection where you live, if it increases, the situation may be different. The regions regularly update their websites with current statistics.
But what about the more than 200,000 people in Sweden who belong to a risk group? For them, it can be extra important to think about what risk they are willing to take, for example if they are going to see a film in a packed cinema. With two vaccine doses in the body and a low spread of infection in society, the risk of becoming infected is quite small. But if it has been a long time since the second injection and if the spread of infection in society has accelerated again, the risk of so-called breakthrough infections also increases. Then maybe it’s time to postpone the long-awaited cinema visit. Or maybe prioritize the movie, and skip any other event? Those who belong to the risk group should simply evaluate their individual risk in different contexts.
Adults who are (voluntarily) unvaccinated take great risks, they can become seriously ill with covid-19 and need hospital care. It is also the unvaccinated who drive the spread of infection in society. According to the Swedish Public Health Agency, they should continue to distance themselves from other people whenever possible, especially in contact with people at risk and people who are 70 years and older.
The question is whether they will not vaccinate themselves in the belief that the danger is over when the restrictions are now lifted. In fact, it may be those who have the longest to be able to live as before the pandemic.