One GP says a decision will ultimately have to be made around living with the coronavirus.
Dr Illona Duffy was speaking as 885 people are in hospital with COVID-19, an increase of 59 since Sunday.
There are 32 patients with the disease in ICU.
It comes as Taoiseach Michael Martin says the rollout of a fourth round of vaccines would take place in the autumn.
Dr Duffy told The Pat Kenny Show wearing a mask still makes sense.
"I think if you want to protect yourself and if you're worried, I think it's wise to wear a mask in a public place and to avoid that crowded setting.
"I think the reality is that life has kind of gone back to normal and unfortunately that is creating problems.
"As we've seen, any group gatherings have the potential to spread the virus and a decision will ultimately have to be made.
"Are we going to live with this now? Are we making a decision that yes, it's causing more minor illness, and that we're going to get on with life - or are we going to continue trying to protect those who are high-risk and do we need to look also at a further vaccine for people?"
She says official figures are unlikely to show the real picture.
"While I think the figures are probably not truly reflective of the actual numbers - because number one, people are doing antigen tests and not necessarily registering those online.
"Or people are just choosing not to even test - I think that's also a further concern."
But Dr Duffy says higher infections are not seeing a spike in hospitalisations.
"While it is highly contagious, we are not seeing that transmitting into the high rates of hospital admission - and more importantly into the high rates of ICU admission.
"That again proves the importance of the vaccine programme to date".
She says the latest symptoms appear to include a sore throat and nasal congestion.
And she herself has been caught out by antigen tests.
"If you have any of these symptoms you've really got to test yourself - do that home antigen test - and one isn't enough.
"I got caught out myself: I was doing twice-daily antigen tests with mild, mild symptoms... and ultimately it was COVID as proven eventually by a positive antigen test.
"So I think that's another really important message - if you are planning to see your GP, if you're planning to go to a hospital appointment you've got to just not rely on one test but do a couple over a couple of days".