Taoiseach Michéal Martin said he “can’t be definitive” the country won’t experience a fourth wave and subsequently face another lockdown this winter.
Appearing on Virgin Media’s The Tonight Show, the Taoiseach was asked: “Are you suggesting that you would be confident that once the vaccination programme gets to a certain point that next winter we’re not going to have a fourth wave and have to go into lockdown again?”
Mr Martin replied: “I can never be definitive about that in terms of how this pandemic evolves.”
As new variants are evolving, the Taoiseach said there is positive news that vaccines could be developed quickly that are able to deal with tackling emerging variants.
"It might be interesting to note that the president of the [European] Commission was in touch with me over a fortnight ago and they look forward to a situation where we will have a faster readjustment of vaccines...these vaccines that deal with any emerging variants in the future,” he said.
The Taoiseach added that he doesn’t believe this pandemic is going to end “with a big bang” and that the European Commission is looking at ordering vaccines for teenagers and children.
"This is the next phase so they are ordering millions of more vaccines for 2022 and 2023,” he said,
"So what I see evolving is a more advanced sort of settled pattern of dealing with this pandemic, it won’t end with one big bang.”