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Another shot? Local infectious disease experts explain why the CDC is recommending a 4th COVID shot for some people

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 9:05 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Centers for Disease Control is signaling that some people many need a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the CDC’s website, those with certain health conditions that make them moderately or severely immunocompromised may need a fourth mRNA COVID-19 shot.

People who fall into this group, and have already had a third shot, may need a fourth, or booster dose of the vaccine, six months later. The CDC authorized a third dose for certain immunocompromised people 18 and older back in August. Doctors said the third shot completed the series for this group, and that a fourth shot would be considered a booster.

Research showed that a booster dose enhanced the antibody response to the vaccine in certain immunocompromised people. This may include those who have had organ transplants, those undergoing chemotherapy, or other treatments that could lessen the body’s ability to fight off infections, but local infectious disease experts recommend talking to your primary care physician first.

“I do feel uncomfortable recommending something today in late October for February 2022 just because…you know…we may see another variant of concern, we may see some changes in the research, we may see that that third dose proves to be more durable than we anticipated and that would be good news. So, I would have them talk to their doctor not only about their immune status to find out if they’re still moderately to severely immunocompromised, but also to find out if and when the fourth dose is right for them,” said Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at UAB, Dr. Ellen Eaton.

Dr. Eaton said while the number of new COVID cases is dropping significantly, it’s important to see cases drop even more.

That’s why she’s encouraging everyone who’s eligible to get vaccinated to not only protect themselves, but also vulnerable populations.

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