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‘Unnecessary’: Novant doctor says 4th COVID shot may not be needed for all eligible

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CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A Novant Health doctor says it may not be necessary for all of the people greenlighted by the FDA to get a fourth COVID shot.

“We can’t boost our way out of this, giving people boosters every four months indefinitely is not going to be the answer, and I think it’s unnecessary,” said Dr. David Priest with Novant Health.

The FDA recently cleared the way for people 50 and older and for those who are immunocompromised to get a fourth COVID shot, if it’s been at least four months since their third shot.


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But a Novant Health doctor says for people between 50 and 65, that fourth shot might not be needed for you right now.

“My professional opinion is that the fourth dose is really most beneficial for much older patients over the age of 65 and those with significant chronic medical conditions and I think we should be prioritizing those individuals at this time,” said Dr. Priest.


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Dr. Priest says if you’ve had COVID, you can count that as having one dose of the vaccine.

“For example, if you had two doses of vaccine and subsequently got Omicron COVID, I would consider that as having three doses of the vaccine,” said Dr. Priest.

What exactly is “immune system exhaustion?”

“That’s the belief or an idea that a person’s t-cells will somehow begin to wear down or not function as well after being exposed to a vaccine several times in close succession. There’s really no evidence that a booster spaced four months apart would exhaust anyone’s immune system,” said Dr. Priest.



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