The chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said people in hospitals with Covid-19 now “tend to be younger” than in previous waves. As a result, the need for critical care has decreased, relieving the pressure the NHS experienced in previous months.
He told Sky News: “There’s much less stretch on critical care capacity than we saw in January and February.
“The third bit, which seems to us particularly significant, is there are very few who have had the double vaccination dose and then the two to three weeks of protection build-up afterwards [that are being hospitalised].
“And that’s why our chief executives are saying that they do think that the link between Covid-19 and very high levels of hospitalisation and mortality that we have seen in the previous waves – that that link has been broken for this pattern of variants.”
Mr Hopson added: “It’s what the clinical trial evidence would have suggested, but it’s very reassuring to see that evidence on the ground.”
The remarks come after a top scientist warned Britain would have to learn to live with the coronavirus.
Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said lockdown measures had “very profound consequences” on people’s wellbeing, education and economy.
The expert said he was hopeful Prime Minister Boris Johnson would be able to scrap all lockdown restrictions on June 21 from the data seen so far.
However, Sir Jeremy acknowledged the next few weeks will be “crucial” in Britain’s roadmap to recovery.