NPR: Who might benefit from a fourth shot — and who might not


Although vaccines provide great protection against COVID-19, the antibodies begin to decline as soon as one month after the booster. The protection against infection drops down to about 50% three months after the shot. Because of this, many are considering a fourth booster shot. The question is, who needs it and who doesn’t? A recent study from Israel suggests that most people won’t need an additional booster as it offers very little extra protection against the virus compared to three shots; however, for the immunocompromised or the elderly, an extra dose may be needed to protect them against severe disease. In a new study, 300 healthcare workers were given a fourth shot, either Pfizer or Moderna, and their antibody levels were measured after. The extra dose only reduced the risk of an infection by 10% to 30%, and during the 30-day study period, 20% of those who received the fourth dose got infected with the omicron variant of COVID-19, while 25% of those who only had three shots became infected. The fourth dose also did not appear to activate T-cells, which are critical in preventing future infections. Despite unpromising findings, the vaccines still offer excellent protection against sever disease, hospitalization, and death. All in all, a fourth dose would not be needed for the general population, but it may be important for those who are vulnerable and need the extra protection. For more information on the fourth dose, click here for the original article. For more information and articles on vaccines and COVID-19, click here.

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