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Expert: Too early to tell if 4th COVID-19 booster shot is needed for everyone

COVID-19 cases across the state are creeping up with some residents who are fully vaccinated and boosted still testing positive.
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 4:34 PM EDT
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Mich. (WNEM) - COVID-19 cases across the state are creeping up with some residents who are fully vaccinated and boosted still testing positive.

“The role of the vaccine, while it does decrease the chance of getting infected, doesn’t take it anywhere close to zero,” said Dr. Bobby Mukkamala, Flint-area physician.

Mukkamala is not sold on a fourth booster shot for everyone. While an extra jab is recommended for people 50 and older along with those who have certain conditions, he said it is too early to tell if additional boosters are needed across the board.

“Risk-wise it’s very safe. The question is is it worth getting a sore arm and being down and out for a day or two for something that may not be necessary protection in that age group. That’s what we’re waiting for data on,” Mukkamala said.

Dr. Nicholas Haddad, infectious disease specialist, agrees with Mukkamala. He urges people to be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Haddad said COVID-19 wreaks havoc on the immune system, especially in the unvaccinated.

“That’s what ensues inflammation and causing a lot of different problems, brain fog, fatigue, myocarditis, from the virus. A ton of stuff, right? So, the less you can make that happen, the better. And that’s why the vaccines are important,” Haddad said.

Haddad said adding a mask to the equation can lower the chance of infection.

“Masking is still an effective means to prevent COVID. I’m still wearing it on airplanes for example. It’s something to keep in mind when you’re with strangers you don’t know because covid is there,” Haddad said.

Both Haddad and Mukkamala said residents may all get COVID-19 at some point.

“This could very well be something that everybody sort of gets eventually. But the key is to sort of make sure that when they do get it, that the severity of that disease is no different than rhinovirus, is no different than a common cold as opposed to landing you in the hospital,” Mukkamala said.