COVID-19 vaccines mean no end to restrictions: Swedish expert

2021-01-30 00:34:47Xinhua Editor : Wang Fan ECNS App Download
Special: Battle Against Novel Coronavirus

People inoculated against COVID-19 can still become infected and spread the disease, a Swedish expert has warned, noting vaccines cannot replace restrictions for now.

"After having received two doses, you are protected against the disease, but this does not mean that you are completely protected against becoming infected," Matti Sallberg, head of Department of Laboratory Medicine at Karolinska Institutet, told Swedish Radio on Friday.

His comments came after local media reported that ten COVID-19 cases were confirmed among residents at a care home in Sweden's second-largest city Gothenburg despite they have completed a two-dose vaccination.

Sallberg said those inoculated may also display COVID-19 symptoms. "You can get very mild symptoms, although you should not get seriously ill and you should definitely not end up in the hospital."

The expert stressed that for the time being vaccines cannot replace COVID-19 restrictions. "I would not dare to do anything other than what the Public Health Agency of Sweden recommends. And they currently recommend that you continue as usual with the restrictions."

As of Thursday, 216,269 Swedes -- out of a population of 10.4 million -- had received at least one vaccine dose, Swedish Radio reported. However, several counties have warned the pace is slowing down as fewer doses than expected are available.

Swedish authorities expect to receive only 400,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine instead of a million in the coming months due to production issues. Also, two weeks ago Pfizer said it had to cut deliveries by 15 percent.

Currently, 236 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 63 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to latest information released by the World Health Organization.


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