A new COVID variant in circulation in Ireland is “dodging” the protection usually provided by vaccines, the World Health Organisation has warned.
Currently there are 629 people in hospital in Ireland who have been diagnosed with the virus - a threefold increase this month alone.
“There’s another surge happening,” Dr David Nabarro, the WHO's special envoy on COVID, told Newstalk.
“And this is probably due to Omicron Variant B4 or B5 and the irritating thing about it is that the virus does seem to be able to dodge the protection that is offered by the vaccines that we’ve all been taking.
“So you can get it even if you’ve been vaccinated.”
Dr Nabarro also believes that Ireland will probably have to endure a few more waves of the virus yet this year:
“Well I think it [the surges] will be every three or four months probably this year,” he continued.
“I think it’ll be super variable; I mean if I look at the curves of what we call hospital COVID admissions for Ireland at the moment, it’s not a nice regular [curve] for every three months or every four months.
The rise in COVID cases has even led to chatter in official circles that mask mandates could soon return - something that the Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation has called for.
Main image: Sick lady touching sore throat. Image: Hanna Kuprevich / Alamy Stock Photo