BRITAIN could be the world’s most immune country in the fight against Covid-19, according to an expert.
The hugely positive claim comes as data revealed around 98 per cent of over 15s in the UK have some resistance to the Omicron variant.
It means they could experience milder symptoms and an overall less serious disease.
It could point to why hospitalisations with the virus remain low – despite skyrocketing case numbers – explained Dr Raghib Ali, Clinical Research Associate, MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge.
But the top doc, who also works across a raft of other roles in the NHS and Public Health England, encouraged Brits to continue to follow rules to not risk overwhelming the health service as staff absence is a “major problem”.
Ways to keep safe, and ensure the NHS stays afloat, include wearing face masks, washing your hands, taking LFT and PCR tests accordingly and isolating if you have symptoms or a positive result.
However he added it’s not all doom and gloom, with lockdown restrictions unlikely as long as we continue on the right path.
Dr Raghib told The Sun: “Basically, what the graph shows is combined data on vaccination with data from the MRC, which produces a monthly update to what proportion of people have had a natural infection, plus dosage and infections by age.
“It’s based on over 15-year-olds, so it’s not everybody, and there’s two factors – one is waning immunity from previous vaccination or infection, and then increasing immunity from boosters, and new infections, and how those things are balancing out, which nobody really knows.
“But we’re probably the most immune country in the world.”
He added: “My general position for a long time has been things are not as bad as many people make out.”
The data, collected by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Cambridge MRC Epidemiology Unit, suggests that between 97 per cent and 98 per cent of Brits – even if infected again – will have a milder form of covid.
The immunity comes from a combination of vaccinations, boosters and natural immunity.
Dr Raghib’s comments come as a string of hugely positive studies show Omicron IS milder than other strains, with the first official UK report revealing the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 per cent lower than with Delta.
Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said.
The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is helping get the vital extra vaccines in Brits’ arms to ward off the need for any new restrictions.
However, the doc warned: “We are very well protected compared to other countries, because of what the very high rates of immunity from a combination of high rates of vaccination, typically in older age groups, also natural infection, particularly in younger age groups,.
“That means that population immunity is very high.
“Omicron is still spreading rapidly. Most regions outside of London haven’t peaked yet, and hospital admissions are still not clearly peaked – particularly outside of London.
“Also, staff absence is still a major problem, so we’re always still encouraging everybody to follow the public health guidance.”