Research shows the risk of death from Covid for over 70s has decreased by tenfold compared to a year ago, thanks to vaccines, natural immunity, treatments, and the replacement of Delta by the mild Omicron variant.
In younger age groups the decline is sharper with the risk of death to healthy teens “almost zero”.
Professor Anthony Brookes, an expert in genetics and health data at University of Leicester, helped compile the research based on Office of National Statistics, Government and NHS infection reports.
He said Covid no longer posed a significant threat to “the vast majority of people”
“We will not be in anything like the same place in January 2022 as we were in January 2021. Infected individuals are at dramatically less risk of becoming seriously ill or dying than a year ago,” he said.
He added: “Over the last month the risk has been dropping further thanks to Omicron now accounting for around 95 per cent of cases in England. Omicron is around 4-fold less dangerous – it’s like nature’s vaccine.”
Professor Paul Hunter, an expert in infectious disease at the University of East Anglia said: “There is no doubt the illness we are seeing now is less severe than at the start. We are seeing a big shift towards covid becoming the common cold due to a range of factors including prior infection and vaccines.