CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — On Thursday, West Virginia became the first state in the nation to formally request permission for a second round of COVID-19 booster shots.

Governor Jim Justice says he and his COVID-19 task force have written the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asking that additional boosters be allowed. The nation of Israel has recently allowed this practice, as medical experts say the original boosters only have an effective life of about four months. Initial booster shots became available to many in the U.S. in September 2021.

Governor Justice says people who are over age 50 with underlying health conditions, as well as front-line pandemic workers, would have priority to receive the fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose.

“We know that people who are four months out from their booster shot, right now, their immunity has dropped way, way off. And we know that West Virginians have some of the most chronic illnesses, and we know that West Virginians are old,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.

It is not known how long the CDC may take to respond, but West Virginia is the first state in the nation to make the request, according to the governor’s staff.