The ongoing trajectory of the world’s battle against coronavirus is now substantially less certain.

At the onset of January 2021 things were very grim, but there was a growing chorus of hope on the horizon. Sure, we were in the midst of our worst viral wave yet, and heading into a national lockdown, but we had vaccines, we had a plan to get the jabs in people’s arms, and it looked very likely we would be able to achieve a semblance of normality by the middle of the year; albeit perhaps a temporary or flexible one. The idea of COVID vaccines being the ultimate saviour of humankind has always been cautioned on by the experts, who have consistently said an effective vaccine is merely one part of a multi-pronged approach, which has never seemed more accurate than right now.

Insightful and innovative UK journalism and commentary, from Toby Lipatti-Mesme.