A fourth-round of COVID-19 vaccinations will likely be rolled out in Ireland in the autumn, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said, as cases in the country continue to rise.

The rollout would be dependent on advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Council. Still, a new round of vaccines was likely necessary as a result of an “evolution in the virus” and could incorporate the latest COVID-19 variants, Martin told the Irish Independent.

Ireland has seen a recent rise in its infection rate, with the number of those hospitalised with the virus reaching 800 at the beginning of this month, for the first time since April.

Last week, the Chief Clinical Officer of the Irish health service warned that the country is in the middle of another wave, with the vast majority of cases attributed to different variants from the one that caused spikes earlier this year.

Health officials have warned that, as a result, many people who contracted COVID-19 towards the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 lack immunity against these currently dominant variants.

According to a survey conducted by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), however, public concern about the impact of COVID-19 has not increased in line with rising infections, in contrast to the other waves experienced since the start of this year.

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