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‘This is the best time to prepare’: Anniston doctor reacts to talk of 4th COVID shot

Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 5:57 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 28, 2022 at 6:00 PM CDT
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ANNISTON, Ala. (WBRC) - The Food and Drug Administration may soon authorize another vaccine booster in the fight against COVID-19, as doctors in Europe continue to see a rise in infections for the Omicron sub-Variant BA.2.

Dr. Raul Magadia, an infectious disease doctor at Anniston’s Regional Medical Center, believes the pandemic is far from over and another shot is an extra layer of protection we need in case there is another spike.

“It’s not quite over yet,” says Dr. Magadia. “There’s a surge happening in China. Parts of Europe and even the UK that have a surge of the omicron sub-variant. I think the federal government is being proactive in getting this shot.”

RMC discharged their last COVID patient around March 15, 2022, and they’ve closed their COVID ward. This is the longest they’ve gone without any new cases in more than a year. But Dr. Magadia says a 4th COVID shot is a great preventative measure.

“The summer of last year majority of the people hospitalized and the majority of the people we lost are unvaccinated or unboosted,” says Dr. Magadia. “So to prevent that from happening. This is data from our own experience numbers don’t lie. This is the best time to prepare.”

Dr. Magadia expects the FDA to approve the booster within the next week, but it will only be available to people 50 years or older.

“Because for the past two years we’ve known that majority of the hospitalization and majority of the deaths we’ve experienced is from people 50 years and above,” adds Dr. Magadia.

He says the data based on the extra booster comes from Israel. A study showed seniors that received the shot have a 78% lower mortality rate from the shot than those who only received one.

“People there who have gotten the fourth shot, they have significant protection especially against this sub-variant,” says Dr. Magadia.

Dr. Magadia expects the 4th booster shot to be available for people 50 years and younger sometime this fall.

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