Facebook Twitter

Dr. Fauci says a fourth COVID-19 shot is possible — but he’s not sure yet

Read what Dr. Fauci had to say about the omicron variant and a fourth COVID-19 shot

SHARE Dr. Fauci says a fourth COVID-19 shot is possible — but he’s not sure yet
Dr. Anthony Fauci speaking to Congress on Capitol Hill.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, adjusts his mask after speaking during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, in Washington. Fauci isn’t sure a fourth COVID-19 shot is needed.

Alex Brandon, Associated Press

A fourth shot of the COVID-19 vaccine may be in your future, but it’s too early to tell right now, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

  • “Before we start talking about a fourth shot, it will be very important for us to determine the durability of protection, particularly against severe disease for the third shot booster of an mRNA and the second shot of a J&J,” Fauci said. “Right now, we don’t have that information.”

Fauci said that COVID-19 cases are still surging throughout the country. More protection — which would mean more booster shots — may be needed to fight off the omicron variant.

  • “It is conceivable that in the future, we might need an additional shot, but right now, we are hoping that we will get a greater degree of durability of protection from that booster shot,” Fauci said. “So we’re going to take one step at a time, get the data from the third boost and then make decisions based on scientific data.”

Rich Lakin, Utah Department of Health’s immunization director, said the idea of a fourth COVID-19 vaccine shot has not been discussed yet, according to the Deseret News.

  • “It’s too soon. We actually haven’t even discussed a fourth dose at all,” Lakin said.

A government panel of experts in Israel recently recommended a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for those 60 years old and older to fight the omicron variant, according to BBC News.

  • “This is wonderful news that will assist us in getting through the omicron wave that is engulfing the world,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in response to the shot.
  • “The citizens of Israel were the first in the world to receive the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and we are continuing to pioneer with the fourth dose as well,” the prime minister added.

Han Kim, a professor of public health at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, told the Deseret News that Israel’s data will be important to watch to see if we need a fourth COVID-19 vaccine shot.

  • “I don’t think we have the data to justify it, especially in the U.S., where people are just starting to get boosters. I don’t think we need to be talking about a fourth dose yet. Maybe in the spring,” Kim said.