WORCESTER, Mass. - Through much of December and into January, a surge in COVID-19 cases overwhelmed Massachusetts. Since then, many are questioning the need for a fourth booster shot.

 Dr. Robert Klugman, Medical Director of Employee Health Services at UMass Memorial Medical Center, said at this point there is no clear evidence of a fourth shot is beneficial. 

Dr. Klugman said if you’re severely immune compromised, it’s recommended you consider a fourth shot. Beyond that, he said, an extensive study out of Israel shows not much benefit from the booster. 

Dr. Klugman said while it boosted antibody levels, that doesn’t mean you’re more protected.

“There is some evidence it might not be beneficial because it overtaxes the immune system and then your body may not respond as well to the real virus if we keep sending in these, fooling it with these vaccines to cause it to produce antibodies,” Dr. Klugman said. “So right now, I would say there absolutely no good reason to get a fourth shot unless you’re in that particular sub category.”

Dr. Klugman says down the road, it depends on what comes next. He says if we get new variants, then boosters might have to be aimed at them. Dr. Klugman wants to make something clear: it is important to get vaccinated and receive one booster shot.