NEARLY all Brits are now protected against Covid with a record 97.5 per cent having antibodies against the virus.
Office for National Statistics figures show the proportion of people with immunity has hit a pandemic high.
In England, 97.5 per cent of adults have Covid-busting antibodies from getting jabbed or catching the virus, they estimate.
In Wales, the figure is 96.8 per cent, in Scotland it is 97.7 per cent and in Northern Ireland it is 97.4 per cent.
The figures were calculated using blood tests up to December 23.
The NHS’s bumper booster rollout and high case rates through the summer and autumn mean almost every person in the UK has now been vaccinated or infected.
And these antibodies – which seek and destroy the virus if it gets into the body – is helping to stave off an Omicron crisis.
They don’t prevent infections but stop most people from getting seriously ill or dying.
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Professor David Heymann, virus expert at the London School of Hygiene, said its huge level of protection means the UK will be the first country to beat Covid into submission.
He told a Chatham House briefing this week: “The UK, it’s the closest to any country of being out of the pandemic – if it isn’t already out of the pandemic – and having the disease as endemic as the other four coronaviruses.”
He said the UK’s high levels of protection were down to jabs and previous infections.
Prof Heymann added: “That antibody is keeping the virus at bay. And it’s now functioning more like an endemic coronavirus than one that is a pandemic.
“Population immunity seems to be keeping the virus and its variants at bay, not causing serious illness or death in countries where population immunity is high.”