In addition to a law -a legal constraint applicable to the public space, contrary to the recommendation- that limits public gatherings to eight (as opposed to 50 in the first wave), the authorities plan to limit the number of people in an enclosed space and prohibit the distribution of alcoholic beverages after 10 pm.
What are the strengths of the national strategy to combat the spread of the virus?
Sweden’s current strategy focuses mainly on obtaining the vaccine ahead of its expected introduction in January. The country has signed four contracts with four different laboratories, potentially leaving the country with a surplus of available doses (three to four times more than necessary). The government wished to focus on a surplus of vaccines in order to guarantee a sufficient supply, taking into account the potential risk of one or more of the vaccine developers not being successful. Any actual surplus will then be sold.
Regarding this issue, a significant strength for Sweden is the historical propensity of the population to be vaccinated. Despite the fact that vaccination is not compulsory but optional, the country has the highest vaccination rate in Europe (over 95%). One of the reasons for this is that the public health system is based on a collaborative arrangement between the government, governmental agencies and the public. Swedes are very involved in their health system and have a high level of trust in their institutions. While the country seems to be largely free from anti-vaccine campaigns, suspicions about the new vaccine do exist and are beginning to be seen at relatively high levels, with 25% of the population being skeptical.
Moreover, the emphasis on decentralized power works as both an asset and an obstacle for Sweden. Due to this decentralization, the government is more likely to make recommendations than impose rules, which are developed in conjunction with the population and independent regions. There are, however, disadvantages to this; for example, the testing strategy at the beginning of the pandemic was difficult to implement as it required coordination between regions, who organized the tests themselves without necessarily following government instructions. The collaborative approach of decentralized power helps in reaching agreements, but the presence of several levels of decision-making can slow down the effectiveness of measures, which has been particularly important in this situation.
Add new comment