The Covid variant currently circulating in Ireland 'dodges' the protection of vaccines, according to a World Health Organisation expert.
It comes as the chief medical officer, Tony Holohan, says the virus situation is 'deteriorating' here.
There's been a three-fold increase in Covid hospitalisations this month - and the current figure is 629.
Dr David Nabarro, the WHO's special envoy on Covid, says Ireland's situation is concerning.
"There's another surge happening, and this is probably due to Omicron variant B4 or B5.
"And the irritating thing about this is that the virus does seem to be able to damage the protection that is offered by the vaccines that we've all been taking, so you can get it even if you've been vaccinated."