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Iceland targets herd immunity with controversial covid-19 strategy

Many countries have scaled back their coronavirus restrictions, but Iceland is going further with a plan to let infections spread

Health 11 March 2022

A person cycles in Reykjavik, Iceland, on 3 September 2020

A person cycles in Reykjavik, Iceland, on 3 September 2020

REUTERS / Alamy

Like some other countries, Iceland has scrapped its remaining covid-19 restrictions. Unlike other nations, however, its health ministry coupled this move with a startling announcement: the country will start aiming for herd immunity.

“Widespread societal resistance to covid-19 is the main route out of the epidemic,” the government said in a statement on 23 February. “To achieve this, as many people as possible need to be infected with the virus as the vaccines are not enough, even though they …