The Delta dilemma: are we headed for a gentle fourth wave, or a ‘let it rip’ tide?

Ireland’s strategy against the Delta variant is more cautious than Britain’s, but some experts feel the differences are mainly in tone, not content, and that we could be heading for a very bad worst-case scenario

With increased transmissibility and reduced vaccine efficacy, Delta has pushed the threshold for herd immunity to 90 per cent of the population. To date, roughly 60 per cent of the Irish population have received a first dose and 50 per cent are fully vaccinated. Picture: Fergal Phillips

“If not now, when?” That was the question Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, put to the public on “Freedom Day” last Monday.

Speaking via grainy footage from self-isolation after he himself became a close contact of one of the rapidly surging Covid-19 cases in Britain, Johnson was talking about death.

With daily cases expected to surpass the January peak and reach 100,000 per day in the coming weeks, the London School for Tropical Medicine ...