CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WDVM) — While cities across the country are finally starting to see a decrease in COVID cases and hospitalizations, more rural areas — like West Virginia — continue to experience some of their worst metrics of the entire pandemic.

Although less than 40% of eligible West Virginians had received a booster dose as of Monday, state health officials have looked into the possibility of an additional booster. At this time, Gov. Jim Justice’s COVID team has not heard back from the federal government regarding their request for approval of second booster doses.

But would another shot even help control West Virginia’s surge? Dr. Clay Marsh, West Virginia’s COVID-19 czar, looked towards a country that has already begun its rollout of the fourth vaccine for possible answers.

“In Israel, what they saw was — and this has also been seen in the U.K., I believe — that the boosters are not sufficient to stop the spread of the Omicron variant given its highly infectious nature,” said Marsh.

Marsh went on to say that the question of whether a second booster is useful is still on the table, as we wait to see if the shot gives the same protection against severe sickness as the first booster dose.

“Vaccine effectiveness against emergency room and urgent care visits for those who received their primary series was 76% at six months after receiving the second shot,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said during a Friday conference. “Following a third shot, vaccine effectiveness increased up to 94%.”

But even if the extra shot is approved, residents still have to take it. WDVM reached out to viewers and asked if they would be open to the idea of taking another vaccine. Around 55% of people said they would get another dose if offered, while only 32% rejected the idea.

If West Virginia’s current surge follows the same pattern as other regions, we could see the mountain state’s metrics begin to improve within the coming weeks.