Coronavirus booster shots not necessarily the answer

From boasting about the enormous uptake of our Covid-19 vaccine rollout, the focus has suddenly switched to analysing its shortcomings.

With case numbers tilting upwards again, and hospitals filling up with virus patients, officials are searching for ways to control the latest speeding up in the spread of the virus.

Just over a week ago, National Public Health Emergency Team official Prof Philip Nolan said Ireland was “close to suppressing” the disease. however on Thursday, he described the situation with the virus as being “on a knife-edge”.

People could be forgiven for being bewildered, given the extent and speed of the about-turn by public health officials, but things move fast in Covid-land, especially with the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Mass vaccination, despite not succeeding in driving down case numbers, has allowed Irish society to return to near normality as the year went on. Understandably, consequently, “more of the same” is seen as the best bet for containing the present situation.

There are good reasons, however, for believing this approach will struggle to produce results.

According to the European Centre for Disease Control’s (ECDC) tracker, 91.8 per cent of the Irish adult population is fully vaccinated. That’s the highest figure in the EU, and well above the European average of 74.7 per cent.

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