A fourth COVID-19 vaccine shot may do better at stopping COVID-19 symptoms than stopping overall infection, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Driving the news: Researchers at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel recently published a study that analyzed how well a fourth COVID-19 vaccination protects against the novel coronavirus.

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What they found: Scientists involved in the study found that a fourth coronavirus vaccination from Pfizer and Moderna provided “little to no protection against contracting the virus when compared to young and healthy individuals vaccinated with three doses,” per The Jerusalem Post.

Yes, but: The fourth vaccination did “provide moderate protection against symptomatic infection among young and healthy individuals in comparison to those inoculated three times,” according to The Jerusalem Post.

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The bigger picture: Scientists and experts have been debating in recent days whether or not people will need a fourth round of COVID-19 vaccinations.

  • Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CBS’ “Face the Nation” over the weekend that the fourth shot is “necessary.”
  • “Variants are coming and Omicron was the first one ... but also we know that the duration of the protection doesn’t last very long,” he said.
  • “So what we are trying to do, and we’re working very diligently right now, it is to make not only a vaccine that will protect against all variants, including Omicron, but also something that can protect for at least a year.”
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