OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – One Oklahoma doctor is citing a study that shows just how effective COVID booster shots are in preventing death, hospitalizations, and infections compared to those who only got the original vaccines.

“It just confirms that boosters are very helpful and very protective,” said Dr. George Monks, a health professional and former president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association.

Dr. Monks is talking about the study from the Veterans Health Administration, showing the effectiveness of COVID-19 booster shots.

That study, which was just published in the annals of internal medicine, looked at roughly 490,000 people and compared those who have the boosters to those who only got the original series of shots.

“It cut the number of hospitalizations down by 53 percent. It cut the number of deaths down by 79 percent. It even cut the number of infections down by almost half, 42 percent,” Monks said.

Those numbers remain steady about 4 months after the study.

Nationally, about 40 percent of people have gotten the boosters.

Monks said it’s just something health professionals will continue to monitor, even well past the heart of the pandemic. That’s also as he said we can expect another wave as the holidays draw closer.

“We just have to use common sense and follow the science. You know, in medicine we use evidence-based medicine. So, we’re continuing to learn more about COVID as time goes on. Unfortunately, it’s a very unstable virus. It’s constantly mutating,” Monks said. “Using a football analogy, this is like putting in some additional film time, looking at your opponent, refreshing your mind about what you’re going to face.”

Monks said he thinks a COVID wave would come in late November and into the new year as everyone gathers for the holidays.

More information on booster shots can be found here.