A professor of immunovirology has said people should not be overly concerned at a new coronavirus variant in Ireland.
Three cases of a so-called Indian variant have been detected here, two of which are associated with travel.
The B.1.617 was first identified in the Maharashtra region of India earlier this year and now accounts for around 60% of cases there.
It has two key mutations and scientists are investigating whether they make the variant more resistant to vaccines.
Some 77 new cases of the variant have also been detected in the UK.
Liam Fanning is professor immunovirology at University College Cork (UCC). He told Newstalk Breakfast we should not get too hung up on such changes.
"I think we've become paralysed by 'variant this', 'variant that' - we all must have a variant nearly per country at this stage the way things are going.
"These vaccines have been shown to be very effective against the backbone of most of these variants.
"It'll be a quantitative difference as to whether it gives it efficacy of 94% or less - so we're not starting from zero if you're vaccinated.
"We have become over-concerned about variants, they are concerning - but these vaccines are very good and the quarantine system is picking them up, and that's good news.
"India probably should be added to Ireland's red list now".
'Viruses change all the time'
Prof Fanning said this suggests the system is working.
"It took us a long time to get there with regard to quarantining, and I think the population needs this dividend - if you like - of the quarantine system to protect us from this being seeded into the population.
"Viruses change all the time as we now know, and people appreciate at this stage.
"These vaccines have a b-cell and a t-cell response, and when you put the two together the immune system - for the most part - has the upper hand.
"This protein is 1,273 amino acids long, that's quite long, so we have many targets which our immune system can attack.
"This virus is trying to adapt and change, and it changes some of them but it doesn't change all of them.
"So therefore we can have confidence that these vaccines will have some efficacy with regard to these new variants.
"It's a bit like the flu: we don't get paralysed every time the make up for the flu vaccine changes every year."
He added that new variants are a natural part of virology.
"I think there needs to be a sense of 'These vaccines are very good, these variants are part of the natural history of virology, and these are something that we don't want'.
"Where these variants are concerned, really going to hit us, if we had an immuno-compromised individual who was perhaps given a sub-optimum dose of the vaccine and perhaps you could get a vaccine escape that way.
"If you have the vaccine you're not starting from zero: you're in an immune better state than if you don't have the vaccine".