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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

UNESCO estimated in March that 91.3% of the world’s students were out of school. But Swedes under 16 were not among them.

Sweden’s iconoclastic approach was based on the belief that students faced little risk from coronavirus and far more from missing months of school.

What they're saying: Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s chief epidemiologist, admits there were flaws in the country’s permissive approach to the virus — Sweden has a high death rate, particularly in nursing homes — but says there’s little evidence schools exacerbated the outbreak.

  • The risk to teachers was also lower than many feared.
  • While Sweden’s no-lockdown approach was shunned by its Nordic neighbors, health officials in Denmark and Norway came around to Sweden's stance on schools.
  • Both made reopening them one of their first steps out of lockdown. Neither has seen a resurgence since.

What it looks like: Denmark has placed elementary school students in pods of around 12. They eat lunch together, play together at recess, and are taught by one teacher in one socially distanced classroom.

  • Spacing restrictions often mean staggering arrival times or even the days on which students attend.
  • Some parents were unconvinced. The Danish Facebook group "My Child Will Not Be a Guinea Pig for COVID-19" grew to 40,000 members after schools reopened in April.

Go deeper

Updated Sep 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Key FDA committee takes on the big booster question — Los Angeles County to require vaccination proof at indoor bars — France suspends 3,000 unvaccinated health workers without pay.
  2. Health: Worsening crisis at Rikers Island jail spurs call for action — 1 in 500 Americans has died — Cases are falling, but deaths are rising.
  3. Politics: White House invites call with Nicki Minaj to discuss vaccine — Gottlieb says CDC hampered U.S. response — 26 states have limited state or local officials' public health powers.
  4. Education: Denver looks to students to close Latino vaccination gap — Federal judge temporarily blocks Iowa's ban on mask mandates in schools — Massachusetts activates National Guard to help with school transportation.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Oct 1, 2020 - Health

Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021

A laboratory technician preparing a blood sample for a vaccine clinical trial sponsored by Moderna. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said Wednesday that his company's coronavirus vaccine won't be available for widespread distribution until at least spring 2021, according to Financial Times.

Why it matters: Bancel told FT that the drugmaker will not seek emergency authorization for FDA approval for its vaccine for front-line medical workers and at-risk individuals until Nov. 25 at the earliest.

CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S.

Cruise Ships docked in April at the port at Marina Long Beach due to a no-sail order in Long Beach, in California. Photo: Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

There have been at least 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like illness cases on cruise ships in U.S. waters, "in addition to at least 41 reported deaths," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late Wednesday.

Driving the news: The CDC released the data from the period of March 1 through Sept. 29 in an emailed statement confirming the extension of a no-sail order for cruise ships through Oct. 31, as first reported by Axios' Jonathan Swan on Tuesday in his article revealing CDC director Robert Redfield was overruled in a push to extend the order into 2021.