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Post-COVID Conditions

March 29, 2022

Although most people with COVID-19 get better within weeks of illness, some people experience post-COVID conditions. Post-COVID conditions are a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems people can experience four or more weeks after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Even people who did not have COVID-19 symptoms in the days or weeks after they were infected can have post-COVID conditions. These conditions can present as different types and combinations of health problems for different lengths of time.

These post-COVID conditions may also be known as long COVID, long-haul COVID, post-acute COVID-19, long-term effects of COVID, or chronic COVID. CDC and experts around the world are working to learn more about short- and long-term health effects associated with COVID-19, who gets them, and why.

Types of Post-COVID Conditions

New or Ongoing Symptoms

Some people experience a range of new or ongoing symptoms that can last weeks or months after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Unlike some of the other types of post-COVID conditions that tend only to occur in people who have had severe illness, these symptoms can happen to anyone who has had COVID-19, even if the illness was mild, or if they had no initial symptoms. People commonly report experiencing different combinations of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental activities (also known as post-exertional malaise)
  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”
  • Cough
  • Chest or stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Fast-beating or pound heart (also known as heart palpitations)
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Pins-and-needles feeling
  • Diarrhea
  • Sleep problems
  • Fever
  • Dizziness on standing (lightheadedness)
  • Rash
  • Mood changes
  • Change in smell or taste
  • Changes in menstrual period cycles

Multiorgan Effects of COVID-19

Some people who had severe illness with COVID-19 experience multiorgan effects or autoimmune conditions over a longer time with symptoms lasting weeks or months after COVID-19 illness. Multiorgan effects can affect many, if not all, body systems, including heart, lung, kidney, skin, and brain functions. Autoimmune conditions happen when you immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake, causing inflammation (swelling) or tissue damage in the affected parts of the body.

While it is very rare, some people, mostly children, experience multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) during or immediately after a COVID-19 infection. MIS is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed. MIS can lead to post-COVID conditions if a person continues to experience multiorgan effects or other symptoms.

Effects of COVID-19 Illness or Hospitalization

Hospitalizations and severe illness for lung-related diseases, including COVID-19, can cause health effects like severe weakness and exhaustion during the recovery period.

Effects of hospitalization can also include post-intensive care syndrome (PICS), which refers to health effects that begin when a person is in intensive care unit (ICU) and can remain after a person returns home. These effects can include severe weakness, problems with thinking and judgement, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD involves long-term reactions to a very stressful event.

Some symptoms that can occur after hospitalization are similar to some of the symptoms that people with initially mild or no symptoms may experience many weeks after COVID-19. It can be difficult to know whether they are caused by the effects of hospitalization, the long-term effects of the virus, or a combination of both. These conditions might also be complicated by other effects related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including mental health effects from isolation, negative economic situations, and lack of access to healthcare for managing underlying conditions. These factors have affected both people who have experienced COVID-19 and those who have not.


The best way to prevent post-COVID conditions is to prevent COVID-19 illness. For people who are eligible, getting vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as you can is the best way to prevent getting COVID-19 and can also help protect those around you.

Stopping a pandemic takes all the tools in our toolbox:

  • Get vaccinated and stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Know when to wear a well-fitted mask to help protect yourself and others.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
  • Test to prevent spread to others.
  • Stay 6 feet apart from others who don’t live with you.
  • Wash you hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.

If you are NOT yet fully vaccinated, prevent long-term complications by protecting yourself and others from COVID-19.

Although media articles have reported that some people with post-COVID conditions say their symptoms improved after being vaccinated, studies are needed to determine the effects of vaccination on post-COVID symptoms.

What CDC is Doing

CDC continues to work to identify how common post-COVID conditions are, who is most likely to get them, and why some symptoms eventually improve for some people and may last longer for other people. Rapid and multi-year studies are underway to further investigate post-COVID conditions in more detail. These studies will help us better understand post-COVID conditions and how to treat patients with these longer-term effects.

For more information, please visit

FAQs about Medical Consent and Booster Doses for Long-term Care Residents

March 18, 2022

A resource for Providers Participating in the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program, Long-term Care Residents & Their Families

In response to inquiries about medical consent surrounding the administration of a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to residents in long-term care (LTC) settings at least five months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed the following responses to frequently asked questions (FAQs).

These FAQs are intended to clarify that medical consent is not required by federal law for COVID-19 vaccination in the United States.

Providers enrolled in the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program, including those administering vaccines to residents in LTC settings, are required by the CDC Provider Agreement to follow applicable state and territorial laws on medical consent. Providers should consult their legal counsel on such requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is medical consent required for LTC residents to receive a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine?

Medical consent is not required by federal law for COVID-19 vaccination in the United States.

COVID-19 vaccine providers should consult with their own legal counsel for state or territorial requirements related to consent; compliance with all applicable state and territorial laws is required under the CDC Provider Agreement.

The COVID-19 Provider Agreement contains the following requirements:

  • Before administering a COVID-19 vaccine with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), the provider must provide the approved EUA fact sheet (or Vaccine Information Sheet, as applicable) to each vaccine recipient, the adult caregiver accompanying the recipient (as applicable), or other legal representative (as applicable). The fact sheet/information sheet explains risks and benefits of the particular COVID-19 vaccine and what to expect but is not a consent document.

Is consent required for the booster shot if consent was previously given for the Pfizer-BioNTech primary series?

Explaining the risks and benefits of any treatment to a patient – in a way that they understand – is the standard of care.

Providers should consult with their legal counsel to determine whether previous medical consent obtained from a resident or their representative is legally sufficient under the applicable laws of the state or territory for purposes of administration of a booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Is consent for a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine required if the vaccine is being administered by a different provider?

Providers should consult with their legal counsel to determine whether consent for the Pfizer-BioNTech primary series previously obtained from an LTC resident or their guardian by a different provider is sufficient, or if consent should be obtained prior to administration of the booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, in accordance with any applicable laws of the state or territory.

Does CDC have a consent form that should be used to receive a COVID-19 vaccine?

No. Since applicable medical consent laws are a matter of state, tribal, or territorial law, providers are advised to consult with their legal counsel to assure compliance with the scope of those consent laws.

A written form is not needed if state law allows for oral consent and the organization/provider does not otherwise require it.

Your COVID-19 Vaccination

March 15, 2022
  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
  • Everyone 5 years and older is now eligible to get a free COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Learn about different vaccines available.
  • Search, text your zip code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you.

Find a COVID-19 Vaccine

How do I get a COVID-19 Vaccine?

When You Get the Vaccine

What are the possible side effects?

Do I need a booster shot?

Register for v-safe

Vaccine Information for Specific Groups of People

What if I’m at risk for severe illness?

Can my child get vaccinated?

What if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

To learn more, please visit

Families and COVID-19

March 4, 2022

As more people are getting vaccinated and resuming activities they did before the pandemic, parents and caregivers are making hard decisions on how to protect their families. Not everyone is able to get vaccinated, so you may be confused about how to keep your family safe, especially if your family has vaccinated and unvaccinated members. Below are some things to consider when planning outings with your family.

What is Your Family’s Vaccination Status?

  • Everyone 5 years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect against COVID-19.
  • People who are not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines and children under 5 years old who are not able to get a COVID-19 vaccine should continue taking steps to prevent getting sick.
  • Everyone ages 2 years and older should properly wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public in areas where the COVID-19 Community Level is high, regardless of vaccination status.
  • In general, people do not need to wear masks when outdoors.
  • If you are sick and need to be around others, or are caring for someone who has COVID-19, wear a mask.
  • If the COVID-19 Community Level where you live is
    • Low
      • Wear a mask based on your personal preference, informed by your personal level of risk.
    • Medium
      • If you are at risk for severe illness, talk to your healthcare provider about wearing masks indoors in public.
      • If you live with or will gather with someone at risk for severe illness, wear a mask when indoors with them.
    • High
      • If you are 2 or older, wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status or individual risk (including in K-12 schools and other community settings).
  • If you are at risk for severe illness, wear a mask or respirator that provides you with greater protection.

Do You Have Family Member with Medical Conditions or a Weakened Immune System?

  • People with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be fully protected even if they are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. They should talk to their healthcare provider about what precautions may be needed.
  • If you are at increased risk for severe illness, or live with or spend time with someone at higher risk, speak to your healthcare provider about wearing a mask at medium COVID-19 Community Levels.

Where is Your Family Going?

  • Outdoor activities and settings are safer than indoor ones.
  • Avoid places that are poorly ventilated.
  • If someone in your family is younger than 2 years old or cannot wear a mask, limit visits with people who are not vaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown and keep distance between your child and other people in public.

Regardless of which safer activities your family chooses, remember to protects yourself and others.

What are the Number of COVID-19 Cases and Vaccinated People in Your Community or the Community You are Visiting?

  • Use CDC Data Tracker to learn about the situation in your community.
  • If your community has a high number of COVID-19 cases or a low number of vaccinated people, consider choosing safer activities.

How to Talk to People Who Care for or Spend Time with Your Family Member

Learn how to talk to professional caregivers, extended family members, family friends, teachers, or other people your loved one spends time with about how to keep your loved one safe from COVID-19.

  • Check that your child’s school, childcare program, your family member’s adult care program, or other caregivers are taking the necessary steps to protect your loved ones in their care.
  • Tell them to encourage your family member to weak a mask indoors in public during times when the COVID-19 Community Level is high.
    • Caregivers can help model mask-wearing for children who are too young to get vaccinated.
  • Let caregivers know, as appropriate, if your loved one or someone they live with has an underlying medical condition or a weakened immune system.
  • Pack an extra mask in your child’s backpack. If your child is old enough, ask if your child can bring hand sanitizer from home to use when they cannot wash their hands with soap and water.

Helping Your Family Member Cope

As families participate in more activities, children or other family members may worry about themselves, their family, and friends getting sick with COVID-19. They may feel anxious about going to school, childcare, or normal activities like grocery shopping or gatherings. Parents, family members, and other trusted adults can help your loved one make sense of what they hear.

  • Make yourself available to listen and talk. Let your family member know they can come to you when they have questions.
  • Reassure your child or family member that they are safe.
  • Let them know it is okay if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
  • Answer questions honestly and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your family members can understand.
  • Teach children and other family members everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs.
    • Parents and caregivers can help by modeling these behaviors themselves.
  • Discuss with your family member any actions or routines that may be taken at school, childcare, adult care, or other activities to help protect them and others.
  • Take steps to protect you and your family’s mental health.
    • Try to keep up with regular routines.
    • Find safe ways to keep your family connected with friends and other family members.
    • Teach your family healthy coping skills by modeling them yourself. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well.

COVID-19 & People with Certain Medical Conditions

March 2, 2022

If you test positive for COVID-19 and have one or more health conditions that increase your risk of becoming very sick, treatment may be available. Contact a health professional right away after a positive test to determine if you may be eligible, even if your symptoms are mild right now. Don’t delay: Treatment must be started within the first few days to be effective.

What You Need to Know

  • A person with any of the medical conditions listed below is more likely to get very sick with COVID-19.
  • Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines (getting primary series and booster) and following preventive measures for COVID-19 are important. This is especially important if you are older or have severe health conditions or more than one health condition, including those on the list below.
  • Approved and authorized COVID-19 vaccines (primary series and booster) are safe and effective.
  • Some immunocompromised people, or people with weakened immune systems, may be eligible for a COVID-19 additional primary shot.
  • The list below does not include all possible conditions that put you at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you have a condition not included on this list, talk to your healthcare professional about how best to manage your condition and protect yourself from COVID-19.


Based on current evidence, a person with any of the conditions listed below is more likely to get very sick with COVID-19. This means that a person with one or more of these conditions and who gets very sick with COVID-19 more likely to:

  • Be hospitalized
  • Need intensive care
  • Require a ventilator to help them breathe
  • Die

In addition:

Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines (getting primary series and booster) and following preventive measures for COVID-19 are important. This is especially important if you are older or have severe health conditions or more than one health condition, including those on this list. Learn more about how CDC develops COVID-19 vaccination recommendations. If you have a medical condition, learn more about Actions You Can Take.

Medical Conditions

  • The conditions on this list are in alphabetical order. They are not in order of risk.
  • CDC completed a review for each medical condition on this list. This was done to ensure that these conditions met criteria for inclusion on this list. CDC conducts ongoing reviews of additional underlying conditions. If other medical conditions have enough evidence, they might be added to this list.
  • Because we are learning more about COVID-19 every day, this list does not include all medical conditions that place a person at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Rare medical conditions, including many conditions that mostly affect children, may not be included on the list below. We will update the list as we learn more.
  • A person with a condition that is not listed may still be at greater risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 than other people who do not have the condition. It is important that you talk with your healthcare professional about your risk.


Having cancer can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Treatments for many types of cancer can weaken your body’s ability to fight off disease. At this time, based on available studies, having a history of cancer may increase your risk.

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Chronic Kidney Disease

Having chronic kidney disease of any stage can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Chronic Liver Disease

Having chronic liver disease can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Chronic liver disease can include alcohol-related liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, autoimmune hepatitis, and cirrhosis (or scarring of the liver).

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Chronic Lung Diseases

Having a chronic lung disease can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Chronic lung diseases can include:

  • Asthma, if it’s moderate to severe
  • Bronchiectasis (thickening of the lungs’ airways)
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (chronic lung disease affecting newborns)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and chronic bronchitis
  • Having damaged or scarred lung tissue known as interstitial lung disease (including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis)
  • Pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs)
  • Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs)

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Cystic Fibrosis

Having cystic fibrosis, with or without lung or other solid organ transplant (like kidney, liver, intestines, heart, and pancreas) can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Dementia or Other Neurological Conditions

Having neurological conditions, such as dementia, can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Diabetes (Type 1 or 2)

Having either type 1 or type 2 diabetes can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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People with some types of disabilities may be more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 because of underlying medical conditions, living in congregate settings, or systemic health and social inequities, including:

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Heart Conditions

Having heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, and possibly high blood pressure (hypertension) can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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HIV Infection

Having HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Immunocompromised State (Weakened Immune System)

Some people are immunocompromised or have a weakened immune system. For example, people on chemotherapy or who have had solid organ transplant, like a kidney transplant or heart transplant. Being immunocompromised can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Many conditions and treatments can cause a person to be immunocompromised or have a weakened immune system. For example, some people inherit problems with their immune system. Once example is called Primary immunodeficiency. Other people have to use certain types of medicines for a long time, like corticosteroids, that weaken their immune system. Such long-term uses can lead to secondary or acquired immunodeficiency.

People who are immunocompromised or are taking medicines that weaken their immune system may not be protected even if they are up to date on their vaccines. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for people who are not vaccinated, including wearing a well-fitting mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare professionals.

After completing the primary series, some moderately or severely immunocompromised people should get an additional primary shot.

Everyone 12 years and older, including immunocompromised people, should get a booster shot. If you are eligible for an additional primary shot, you should get this dose first before you get a booster shot.

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Mental Health Conditions

Having mood disorders, including depression, and schizophrenia spectrum disorders can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Overweight and Obesity

Overweight, obesity, or severe obesity, can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. The risk of severe COVID-19 illness increases sharply with higher BMI.

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Physical Inactivity

People who do little or no physical activity, or exercise, are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 than those who are physically active. Being physically active (or exercising regularly) is important to being healthy. Get more information on physical activity and health, physical activity recommendations, how to become more active, and how to create activity-friendly communities:


Pregnant and recently pregnant people (for at least 42 days following end of pregnancy) are most likely to get very sick from COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people.

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Sickle Cell Disease or Thalassemia

Having hemoglobin blood disorders like sick cell disease (SCD) or thalassemia can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Smoking, Current or Former

Being a current or former cigarette smoker can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. If you currently smoke, quit. If you used to smoke, don’t start again. If you’ve never smoked, don’t smart.

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Solid Organ or Blood Stem Cell Transplant

Having a solid organ or blood stem cell transplant, which includes marrow transplants, can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Stroke or Cerebrovascular Disease

Having cerebrovascular disease, which affects blood flow to the brain, can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Substance Use Disorders

Having a substance use disorder (such as alcohol, opioid, or cocaine use disorder) can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Having tuberculosis can make you more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

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Actions You Can Take

It is important to protect yourself and others by taking preventive measures against COVID-19:

  • Stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines
  • Wear a well-fitting mask
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces
  • Test to prevent the spread to others
  • Wash your hands often
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Monitor your health daily

Seek Care When Needed

  • Call your healthcare professionals if you have any concerns about your medical conditions or if you get sick and think that you may have COVID-19. Discuss steps you can take to manage your health and risks. If you need emergency help, call 911 right away.
  • Do not delay getting care for your medical condition because of COVID-19. Emergency departments, urgent care, clinics, and your healthcare professionals have infection prevention plans to help protect you from getting COVID-19 if you need care.

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