What you should know about COVID-19
COVID-19 is caused by a virus and is easily spread when people are in close contact. The main transmission is through respiratory droplets spread through coughing, sneezing, or even talking. The virus can also be spread by touching surfaces, such as doorknobs or tables, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. Often, infected people don't know they are infected with the virus and may unknowingly spread it before their own symptoms show up.
Symptoms of COVID-19
According to the CDC, COVID-19 symptoms may include:
- Fever or chills
- Loss of taste or smell
- Difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Pain or pressure in the chest
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Not able to wake up or stay awake
The impact on people varies greatly; some feel better with no lasting effects within days, while others exhibit serious conditions known as long COVID months after the initial infection.
COVID-19 vaccines are your best protection from evolving variants of COVID-19. Vaccines help your body recognize and fight off the virus.
Who can receive the vaccine?
Everyone 6 months of age and older is now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination.
Who should receive a COVID-19 booster?
Everyone 5 years of age and older should receive a booster. People over 50 or those who are immunocompromised should received an additional booster.
Why should I get the updated COVID-19 booster? Isn't the risk over?
The CDC anticipates the potential for a surge over the next several months. New boosters target the most recent Omicron subvariants: BA.4 and BA.5. These updated COVID-19 boosters are recommended to enhance your protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death. The new booster should also increase your immune response to future variants.
Who is eligible for the updated booster?
- The updated Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster is available for people aged 12 years and older.
- The Moderna updated COVID-19 booster is available for people aged 18 years and older.
The CDC recommends that everyone who is eligible receive one dose of the updated vaccine.
Can I get my flu shot at the same time as my COVID-19 booster?
Yes. Studies indicate it is safe to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same visit.
How long should I wait to get a booster after I've had COVID?
The CDC recommends people who have had COVID should wait until they've completely recovered and completed their isolation before getting any vaccine.