Covid-19 could soon resemble the common cold as the virus weakens and people’s immunity is boosted by vaccines and exposure, two leading experts have said.
Professor Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at Oxford University, has claimed the coronavirus could become like a cold by as soon as next spring.
He also claimed the UK “is over the worst” of the pandemic and things “should be fine” once winter has passed.
Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, the co-creator of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, has made similar claims and said Covid-19 will become like a cold as it is unlikely to mutate into a dangerous variant.
Speaking to a Royal Society of Medicine webinar last night, she said that viruses tend to become weaker as they spread.
She said: “We normally see that viruses become less virulent as they circulate more easily and there is no reason to think we will have a more virulent version of Sars-CoV-2 [Covid-19].
“We tend to see slow genetic drift of the virus and there will be gradual immunity developing in the population as there is to all the other seasonal coronaviruses.”
Seasonal coronaviruses cause colds, and Dame Sarah said: “Eventually Sars-CoV-2 will become one of those.”