BIRMINGHAM, Ala.(WIAT) — The Food and Drug Administration expanded its emergency use authorization for a second COVID-19 booster shot for all adults 50 years and older Tuesday.

This covers both Pfizer and moderna vaccines. With this approval, people are now looking at the option to get four shots in total, two of the original doses and two booster shots. The big question is, are these boosters effective? UAB top infectious disease expert Dr. Michael Saag said, yes.

“For most people over the age of 50, especially if you have underlying conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes, if you’re a little bit overweight, other things that put you at risk for advanced COVID; t’s probably a good idea to get a fourth shot,” said Saag. “Especially if it’s been more than five or six months since your third shot or you’ve never had a booster.”

According to UAB’s vaccination dashboard, about 48.21% of Alabamians are vaccinated, that’s less than half of the state. Dr. Saag said if you are not vaccinated, now is a great time to do so, especially with the new BA-2 variant.

“If you’ve never had COVID you remain very vulnerable to this new variant, the BA-2. So, now is a perfect time to get your shot before that BA-2 variant makes its way to Alabama,” said Saag. “We don’t know how severe it will be but if you can get prepared now it’s a perfect time to get your first series of vaccines and if you’ve been vaccinated but have not gotten your booster, now is a good time to do that as well.”

If you are eligible for a second booster shot keep in mind that you need to wait at least four months after your previous shot. Children under the age of five are still not eligible for the vaccine.