THE NATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY TEAM (NPHET) has warned that mass gatherings of any kind will be prohibited in Ireland until 70% of the population is vaccinated against Covid-19.
Professor Philip Nolan, chair of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group and NPHET member, stressed that music events, large sporting events and the like will have to remain on hold until the country achieves herd immunity.
He speculated that we may even have to wait until more than 70% of the country is vaccinated, because of more transmissible new variants of coronavirus.
"Before we are all packed indoors in an intense social setting, or there are very large mass gatherings, we are going to have to have over 70% of the population immune and probably higher because of the new variants," Prof Nolan said.
"Until we are approaching that herd immunity threshold, those kinds of large or very crowded indoor social gatherings are not going to be safe."
Health experts have said that herd immunity will likely be achieved when between 70-80% of the population has resistance to the virus.
It's achieved when the spread of the virus is effectively stamped out because the majority of people that the virus encounters are immune or have resistance to it.
The Irish government is aiming to have all adults vaccinated by September, although recent supply issues from pharmaceutical companies producing the vaccines might mean this target is hard to hit.
It's estimated that nearly 150,000 first doses of the vaccine have been administered in Ireland, as well as nearly 14,000 second doses.