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Sheba kicks off groundbreaking trial of fourth COVID vaccine dose

Sheba Medical Center, outside Tel Aviv, has begun trials of a fourth dose of coronavirus vaccine in what is believed to be the first study of its kind.

The trial begins with 150 medical personnel who received a booster dose in August getting a fourth shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The staff receiving the additional dose were tested and found to have low antibody levels.

Professor Jacob Lavee receives a fourth dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Israel, Monday, Dec. 27, 2021. (AP/Tsafrir Abayov)

The trial comes after Israeli officials considered rolling out a second tranche of booster shots to its population as the country grapples with rising infections due to the new Omicron variant.

Prof. Jacob Lavee, former director of the heart transplant unit at Sheba, says “hopefully, we’ll be able to show here… that this fourth booster really provides protection against Omicron, which is highly needed.”

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