While it has been said that the third COVID wave could strike in the coming weeks, what we do not have knowledge about is the actual intensity, or severity of the third wave. However, what we do know is that the two factors which could predict the surge witnessed during the second wave are vaccination, and variant(s) in circulation.
Vaccination remains one crucial factor which could decide the severity of the wave. If we have enough people who have some level of protective immunity against the virus, we would see the disease take possibly milder forms. With more vaccinations, it could also become less easy for the virus to transmit and spread. Right now, we are staring at a scenario where full-vaccination coverage is in double digits, while at least 50% of the eligible population has received at least a single vaccine dose. Thus, the faster we can speed up full vaccination, the less severe a third wave could be.
The other factor we need to take into consideration is the presence of variants. While the Delta variant continues to pose an active threat, experts also say that the variants of the virus, which have superior abilities to surpass important immune defences could cause infections, reinfections and breakthrough cases would lead to the virus wave taking a nastier wave.