Coronavirus Resource Center – Harvard Health

As coronavirus continues to unfold, many questions and solutions

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Beneath, you may discover solutions to widespread questions all of us are asking. We might be including new questions and updating solutions as dependable info turns into obtainable. Additionally see our weblog posts that includes consultants discussing coronavirus and COVID-19 and our glossary for related phrases.

New questions and solutions

Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot?

As of March 2022, the next teams are eligible for a second booster shot:

  • everybody ages 50 years and older who acquired their first booster (Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson) no less than 4 months in the past
  • sure immunocompromised people ages 12 years and older who acquired their first booster no less than 4 months in the past.

The CDC is barely recommending mRNA vaccines for second boosters, and has acknowledged {that a} second booster is “…particularly necessary for these 65 and older and people 50 and older with underlying medical circumstances that enhance their threat for extreme illness from COVID-19…”

The CDC recommends a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine booster for all adults ages 18 years and older. Those that initially acquired the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna mRNA vaccine can get their booster 5 months after their second shot, and people who acquired an preliminary dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can get a booster dose two months after their preliminary vaccine. Adults could choose any vaccine for his or her booster, both the identical (homologous) or totally different (heterologous) than their preliminary vaccine(s). Nonetheless, the FDA has restricted use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to adults who can’t get, or refuse to get, one of many mRNA vaccines.

The CDC additionally recommends a single-dose Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 booster shot for kids ages 5 years and older, no less than 5 months after getting their second dose of that vaccine. As of now, people on this age group are solely licensed to obtain the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

What ought to I think about earlier than getting a second COVID-19 vaccine booster?

In March 2022, the CDC beneficial a second booster shot for anybody ages 50 years and older, in addition to sure immunocompromised people ages 12 years and older, no less than 4 months after their first booster. The CDC famous: “That is particularly necessary for these 65 and older, and people 50 and older with underlying medical circumstances that enhance their threat for extreme illness from COVID-19, as they’re the most definitely to learn from receiving a further booster dose presently.”

Knowledge from the CDC has proven that the effectiveness of booster photographs decreases over time. A research printed in MMWR reported that vaccine effectiveness in opposition to COVID-related hospitalizations dropped from 91% inside two months after a booster dose to 78% 4 months after a booster dose. Knowledge for this research had been collected throughout the Omicron surge.

A second booster shot could assist defend in opposition to COVID-related demise in older adults, in response to a small preprint research from Israel. Of the research individuals, all of whom had been ages 60 years and older, 232 of the 234,868 individuals who acquired one booster shot had a COVID-related demise, in comparison with 92 of the 328,597 individuals who acquired two booster photographs. Which means individuals who acquired a second booster had been 78% much less more likely to die than those that acquired a single booster. This was a major distinction.

The advantages of a second booster for youthful, more healthy populations are much less sure. In a small report printed in NEJM, researchers reported solely “marginal advantages” of a second booster for middle-aged healthcare staff in contrast with a single booster. Though the second booster was secure and resulted in a big bump in neutralizing antibodies, vaccine efficacy was low in opposition to COVID infections.

Though vaccine effectiveness decreases over time, particularly in opposition to an infection and symptomatic an infection, vaccines are nonetheless one of the simplest ways to guard in opposition to extreme sickness. Think about the next elements when occupied with a second booster shot for your self or a liked one.

  • Age. The chance of extreme COVID-related sickness will increase with age. A second booster will increase neutralizing antibody ranges, and there may be proof {that a} second booster protects older folks from COVID-related demise. The CDC has famous {that a} second booster is particularly necessary for these 65 years and older.
  • Underlying medical circumstances. Immunocompromised people and people with sure underlying medical circumstances are at elevated threat for extreme sickness, hospitalization, and demise as a result of COVID. The CDC has stated that these teams are amongst these most definitely to learn from a second booster.
  • Timing. There’s some proof that longer intervals between booster doses lead to a stronger and longer-lasting immune response. Nonetheless, that may depart you extra weak between booster doses.
  • Objectives. Are you making an attempt to scale back your threat of any an infection, symptomatic an infection, or extreme sickness and hospitalization? The reply could rely in your age, medical historical past, and different elements, and will affect how you concentrate on a second booster.
  • What’s subsequent? Omicron-specific mRNA vaccines are in growth and could also be obtainable later this yr.

You’ll be able to take a wide range of precautions in opposition to an infection along with vaccination. These embrace masking indoors, not consuming in indoor eating places, and avoiding crowded areas. You’ll be able to undertake or discard layers of safety relying on COVID threat ranges in your group.

Which COVID-19 vaccine booster ought to I get?

Adults ages 18 years and older could choose a COVID-19 vaccine booster that’s the similar as (homologous) or totally different than (heterologous) their preliminary vaccine(s). Solely mRNA vaccines (Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna) have been licensed for second boosters.

The FDA’s mix-and-match authorization makes booster photographs much less depending on which vaccines can be found and provides folks extra decisions. For instance, in case you had an disagreeable response to your preliminary vaccine, you might select a distinct one on your booster. Or, in case you don’t bear in mind which vaccine you began with, you may nonetheless get a booster.

Though Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine continues to be obtainable as an choice for the primary booster, in Could 2022 the FDA restricted use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to adults who can’t get, or refuse to get, one of many mRNA vaccines, as a result of considerations a few uncommon, however doubtlessly deadly, blood clotting dysfunction.

The CDC additionally recommends boosters for kids ages 5 to 17 years. Proper now, solely the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is permitted for this age group.

Do COVID-19 vaccines work in opposition to the newer variants?

mRNA COVID-19 vaccines haven’t protected as nicely in opposition to an infection with Omicron as they did in opposition to earlier SARS-CoV-2 variants. Nonetheless, the vaccines proceed to considerably cut back the prospect of extreme signs, hospitalization, and demise, particularly for individuals who have acquired a booster dose.

Analysis printed in MMWR regarded on the medical information of almost 88,000 folks throughout the US hospitalized with COVID-like signs between late August 2021 and early January 2022, which included intervals throughout which each the Delta and Omicron variants had been predominant. The information confirmed that full vaccination plus a booster was 94% efficient in defending in opposition to hospitalization with the Delta variant and 90% efficient in defending in opposition to hospitalization with the Omicron variant. Safety in opposition to hospitalization dropped considerably in individuals who had gotten their second vaccine dose greater than six months prior and who had not gotten a booster dose.

Safety in opposition to extreme illness and hospitalization in people who find themselves vaccinated in comparison with those that are unvaccinated is putting. Further information printed by the CDC confirmed that unvaccinated Individuals ages 50 to 64 years had been 44 instances extra more likely to be hospitalized than those that had been vaccinated and boosted. Unvaccinated Individuals ages 65 and older had been 49 instances extra more likely to hospitalized than their vaccinated and boosted counterparts.

How may boosters assist? Booster-generated antibodies usually are not extra particular to the Omicron variant. However the sheer enhance in antibody ranges helps improve our immunity.

However vaccines do greater than generate antibodies. In addition they stimulate different elements of the immune response, together with T cells, which assault contaminated cells and recruit different immune cells to guard in opposition to extreme sickness. The a part of the virus focused by T cells was largely unaffected by mutations within the Omicron variant, so the T cell response in people who find themselves immunized ought to stay robust.

The proof reinforces the identical necessary messages. If you’re not vaccinated, get vaccinated. If you’re eligible for a booster, get boosted. And everybody ought to proceed to masks indoors, keep away from crowds, and observe different preventive measures.

I misplaced my COVID-19 vaccination document card. What ought to I do?

Whenever you acquired your first vaccine dose, it’s best to have acquired a white, CDC-labeled COVID-19 Vaccination File Card. The cardboard is crammed out by the vaccine supplier and signifies which vaccine you bought, and when and the place you acquired your shot. Whenever you obtain your subsequent vaccine dose or booster, the cardboard is up to date with details about the extra shot(s).

 Should you lose your card, there are a number of issues you are able to do:

  • Contact your vaccination supplier (for instance, your physician, a pharmacy, a group well being heart, or a mass vaccination website).
  • Contact your main care supplier (PCP).
  • Contact your state well being division’s immunization info system (IIS) by telephone or on-line. Vaccination suppliers are required to report COVID-19 vaccinations to their IIS and associated methods, and lots of states have methods arrange that will help you receive a replica of your COVID vaccination document.
  • Should you enrolled in v-safe or VaxText, you may entry your vaccination info utilizing these instruments.
  • Your state well being division may be capable of assist.

When you receive your vaccine card, take an image of it, and hold the photograph in your telephone as a backup copy. You might also be capable of get a digital copy of your vaccine document which you could retailer in your smartphone.

I’m pregnant and plan to finally breastfeed my child. Is it secure for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

The CDC recommends that ladies who’re pregnant, occupied with turning into pregnant, or had been just lately pregnant — together with those that are breastfeeding — ought to get vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19. The American School of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medication additionally agree that every one pregnant and breastfeeding people must be vaccinated.

Listed below are some elements to think about. First, though the precise threat of extreme COVID-19 sickness and demise amongst pregnant people could be very low, it’s larger when in comparison with nonpregnant people from the identical age group. As well as, COVID-19 will increase threat for untimely beginning, stillbirth, and probably additionally for different undesirable being pregnant outcomes. Outcomes from a big, observational research from Scotland performed between December 2020 and October 2021 confirmed that dangers to each mom and child are considerably larger in pregnant ladies who’re unvaccinated, in comparison with those that are vaccinated.

Proof supporting the protection of COVID vaccines for pregnant ladies and their infants continues to develop. One research printed in MMWR checked out information from greater than 40,000 pregnant ladies between December 2020 and July 2021. About 10,000 of those ladies acquired a COVID-19 vaccine (sometimes an mRNA vaccine, both Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna) throughout their being pregnant, most throughout their second or third trimester. Ladies who had been vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 whereas pregnant had been no extra possible than unvaccinated ladies to present beginning prematurely or have a child that was small for its gestational age.

A research printed in NEJM in October 2021 analyzed security information collected by the CDC. The researchers checked out information from almost 2,500 ladies who acquired a COVID-19 vaccine, both earlier than turning into pregnant or throughout their first 20 weeks of being pregnant, and located that they didn’t have an elevated threat of miscarriage. A earlier research, performed by the CDC and printed in NEJM, discovered the COVID-19 vaccines to be secure when given throughout the second or third trimester.

Rising proof reveals that vaccine-generated antibodies cross from mom to child and defend newborns for a number of months after beginning. A small research printed within the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology discovered that mRNA vaccines successfully produce antibodies that defend in opposition to SARS-CoV-2 in ladies who’re pregnant or breastfeeding, and that this immunity is handed from mom to new child by the placenta and breast milk. A research printed in JAMA discovered that 98% of infants born to moms who acquired an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine throughout being pregnant had detectable ranges of antibodies two months after beginning, and 57% of infants had detectable antibody ranges six months after beginning. And a report printed in MMWR discovered that infants born to moms who acquired two doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine throughout being pregnant had been 61% much less more likely to be hospitalized with COVID of their first six months of life than infants born to moms who weren’t vaccinated whereas pregnant. Protecting antibodies are notably necessary for infants as a result of COVID vaccines usually are not licensed for infants youthful than 6 months.

mRNA vaccines don’t comprise any virus, so they can not trigger COVID-19 in a lady or her child. And our our bodies rapidly break down and remove mRNA particles used within the vaccine, so they can not attain or cross the placenta.

Much like any determination concerning over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements throughout being pregnant, your individual physician is in the very best place to advise you based mostly in your private well being dangers and preferences.

Click on right here for extra new questions and solutions.  

Signs, unfold, and different important info

What’s coronavirus and the way does it unfold? What’s COVID-19 and what are the signs? How lengthy does coronavirus stay on totally different surfaces? Take a second to reacquaint your self with fundamental details about this virus and the illness it causes.

Click on right here to learn extra about COVID-19 signs, unfold, and different fundamental info.


Social distancing, hand washing, and different preventive measures

By now, many people are taking steps to guard ourselves from an infection. This possible consists of frequent handwashing, usually cleansing often touched surfaces, and social distancing. How do every of those measures assist gradual the unfold of this virus, and is there the rest you are able to do?

Click on right here to learn extra about what you are able to do to guard your self and others from coronavirus an infection.


If you’re at larger threat

Although nobody is invulnerable, we have seen that older adults are at elevated threat for extreme sickness or demise from COVID-19. Underlying circumstances, together with coronary heart illness, lung illness, and diabetes, enhance threat even additional in those that are older. As well as, anybody with an underlying medical situation, no matter their age, faces elevated threat of significant sickness.

Click on right here to learn extra about what you are able to do in case you are at elevated threat for critical sickness.


Should you’ve been uncovered, are sick, or are caring for somebody with COVID-19

Regardless of your greatest efforts, you could be uncovered to coronavirus and turn into in poor health with COVID-19. Or you could be ready the place you might be caring for a liked one with the illness. It is necessary to know what to do if you end up in any of those conditions. Replenish with drugs and well being provides now, and study the steps you may take to keep away from infecting others in your family and to keep away from getting sick your self in case you are caring for somebody who’s in poor health.

Click on right here to learn extra about what to do you you probably have been uncovered, are sick, or are caring for somebody with COVID-19.


Remedies for COVID-19: What helps, what would not, and what’s within the pipeline

Whereas there aren’t any particular therapies for COVID-19 presently, there are issues you are able to do to really feel higher in case you turn into in poor health. Within the meantime, researchers across the globe are present medicine to see if they could be efficient in opposition to the virus that causes COVID-19, and are working to develop new therapies as nicely.

Click on right here to learn extra about measures that may aid you really feel higher and coverings which might be underneath investigation.


Coronavirus and children

Thus far, the overwhelming majority of coronavirus infections have stricken adults. And when children are contaminated, they are inclined to have milder illness. Nonetheless, as a father or mother, you may’t assist however fear concerning the security of your kids. Many dad and mom are additionally looking for a stability between answering their kids’s questions concerning the pandemic and imposing health-promoting behaviors and social distancing guidelines with out creating an environment of tension. To not point out conserving children engaged and entertained with colleges closed and playdates cancelled.

Click on right here to learn extra about children and the coronavirus outbreak.


Dealing with coronavirus

The information about coronavirus and its impression on our day-to-day lives has been unrelenting. There’s cause for concern and it makes good sense to take the pandemic critically. Nevertheless it’s not good on your thoughts or your physique to be on excessive alert on a regular basis. Doing so will put on you down emotionally and bodily.

Click on right here to learn extra about dealing with coronavirus.


What’s “Take a look at to Deal with”? Might it assist me get antiviral therapy for COVID-19?

Take a look at to Deal with is a authorities initiative that makes it sooner and simpler for folks with COVID-19 to acquire therapy. That is necessary as a result of antiviral therapies for COVID-19 should be began inside 5 days of a constructive take a look at or the beginning of signs. With Take a look at to Deal with, an individual can get examined, get a prescription, and get their prescription crammed, multi function place.

Right here’s the way it works. Should you assume you might have COVID-19, go to a Take a look at to Deal with website to get examined. Should you take a look at constructive you’ll meet with a healthcare supplier and, in case you are eligible, will obtain a prescription for antiviral therapy. You’ll be able to then get your prescription crammed on the similar website.

A number of issues to bear in mind:

  • You’ll be able to carry a constructive at-home take a look at to a Take a look at to Deal with website.
  • A healthcare supplier on the Take a look at to Deal with website could ask about your medical historical past or different drugs you are taking with a view to be sure to are eligible for therapy.
  • The 2 antiviral therapies being prescribed and crammed at Take a look at to Deal with websites are Paxlovid and molnupiravir (Lagevrio).

The Take a look at to Deal with web-based locator might help you discover a Take a look at to Deal with website close to you. It’s also possible to name 800-232-0233 to get assist in English, Spanish, and greater than 150 different languages.

What therapies might help people who find themselves at elevated threat of extreme COVID-19 to keep away from hospitalization?

There’s at present one FDA-authorized monoclonal antibody therapy which may be used to deal with non-hospitalized adults and youngsters over age 12 with delicate to average signs who’ve just lately examined constructive for COVID-19, and who’re in danger for growing extreme COVID-19 or being hospitalized for it. The remedy is bebtelovimab, made by Eli Lilly. It should be given intravenously (by IV) quickly after growing signs.

In laboratory assessments, bebtelovimab was efficient in opposition to BA.2, which is now the most typical SARS-CoV-2 variant within the U.S.

As well as, the FDA has licensed the oral antiviral drugs Paxlovid and molnupiravir, which have been proven to decrease the danger of hospitalization and demise in people who find themselves at elevated threat of extreme COVID-19 sickness.

How does COVID-19 have an effect on kids?

Kids, together with very younger kids, can develop COVID-19. A lot of them don’t have any signs. People who do get sick are inclined to expertise milder signs similar to low-grade fever, fatigue, and cough.

In a paper printed in March 2022 within the journal Pediatrics, researchers described extra frequent and extreme croup in infants and younger kids (too younger to be vaccinated) contaminated with COVID-19 throughout the Omicron surge. Croup can happen when a viral an infection similar to SARS-CoV-2 causes the voice field, larynx, and bronchial tubes to turn into infected and swollen. Kids with croup have a “barking” cough and noisy or high-pitched respiratory.

Some kids have had different extreme issues of COVID-19, however this has been much less widespread. Kids with underlying well being circumstances could also be at elevated threat for extreme sickness.

One other doubtlessly extreme and harmful complication can happen in kids. Referred to as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in kids (MIS-C), it may possibly result in life-threatening issues with the center and different organs within the physique. On this situation, totally different physique elements, similar to the center, lungs, kidneys, mind, pores and skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs, can turn into infected.

Signs of MIS-C can embrace

  • fever lasting greater than a few days
  • rash
  • “bloodshot eyes”(redness of the white a part of the attention)
  • stomachache
  • vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • a big, swollen lymph node within the neck
  • neck ache
  • pink, cracked lips
  • a tongue that’s redder than ordinary and appears like a strawberry
  • swollen arms and/or toes
  • irritability and/or uncommon sleepiness or weak spot.

Many circumstances may cause signs much like these of MIS-C. Your physician will first wish to know in case your youngster has been round somebody who has examined constructive for the virus and can ask about the entire above signs. Outcomes of the bodily examination, a COVID-19 diagnostic or blood antibody take a look at, and different medical assessments that examine for irritation and the way organs are functioning can assist the analysis of MIS-C.

Name the physician in case your youngster develops signs, notably if their fever lasts for greater than a few days. If the signs get any worse or simply do not enhance, name once more or carry your youngster to an emergency room.

Medical doctors have had success utilizing numerous therapies for irritation, in addition to therapies to assist organ methods which might be having bother. Whereas there have been some deaths, most youngsters who’ve developed MIS-C have recovered.

The journal Lancet Youngster & Adolescent Well being printed a research that regarded on the long-term well being results of MIS-C on 46 kids hospitalized with MIS-C between April and September 2020. The entire kids had systemic irritation; most additionally had issues associated to gastrointestinal, coronary heart, and kidney operate, and clot formation. By six months after the youngsters had been discharged from the hospital, most of those issues had resolved, with out lasting organ injury typically. About one-third of the youngsters continued to have muscle weak spot, fatigue, and psychological well being difficulties. However the research couldn’t decide whether or not these results had been as a result of MIS-C particularly, or to hospitalization, or different elements.

Who’s at highest threat for getting very sick from COVID-19?

Age is the strongest threat issue for extreme COVID-19 sickness. The chance of significant sickness will increase steadily with age, particularly for these with underlying medical issues. As well as, an individual’s threat of extreme sickness from COVID-19 will increase because the variety of underlying medical circumstances they’ve will increase.

In accordance with the CDC, adults of any age with the next circumstances might be extra more likely to get severely in poor health from COVID-19:

  • Most cancers, most cancers therapy, and historical past of most cancers
  • Persistent kidney illness
  • Persistent liver illness, together with alcohol-related liver illness, nonalcoholic fatty liver illness, autoimmune hepatitis, and cirrhosis (scarring of the liver)
  • Persistent lung illnesses, together with bronchial asthma (average to extreme), bronchiectasis (thickening of the lungs’ airways), bronchopulmonary dysplasia (persistent lung illness affecting newborns), COPD (together with persistent bronchitis or emphysema), interstitial lung illness (broken or scarred lung tissue), pulmonary embolism (blood clot within the lungs), and pulmonary hypertension (hypertension within the lungs)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Dementia or different neurological circumstances
  • Diabetes (kind 1 or kind 2)
  • Disabilities, together with attention-deficit/hyperactivity dysfunction (ADHD), cerebral palsy, beginning defects, mental and developmental disabilities, studying disabilities, spinal wire accidents, and Down syndrome. Individuals with any kind of incapacity that makes it tougher to do sure actions or work together with the world round them, together with individuals who need assistance with self-care or day by day actions, could also be at elevated threat for getting very sick from COVID-19.
  • Coronary heart circumstances, similar to coronary heart failure, coronary artery illnesses, or cardiomyopathies (illnesses of the center muscle that make it tougher for the center to pump blood to the remainder of your physique), and probably hypertension (hypertension)
  • HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) an infection
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system), together with from inherited circumstances (together with main immunodeficiency) or extended used of corticosteroids or different immune-weakening medicines
  • Psychological well being circumstances, together with despair and schizophrenia spectrum issues
  • Obese and weight problems (physique mass index [BMI] of 25 or larger)
  • Bodily inactivity
  • Being pregnant and up to date being pregnant
  • Sickle cell illness, thalassemia, or different hemoglobin blood issues
  • Smoking, present or former
  • Strong organ or blood stem cell transplant, together with bone marrow transplant
  • Stroke or cerebrovascular illness, which impacts blood circulation to the mind
  • Substance use issues similar to alcohol, opioid, or cocaine use dysfunction
  • Tuberculosis

Every part we all know underscores the significance of sustaining health-promoting behaviors, at the same time as restrictions start to ease, particularly you probably have a number of underlying medical circumstances. To cut back your threat of getting sick, get vaccinated and boosted as quickly as you might be eligible, put on a masks indoors, particularly when group ranges of COVID are elevated, keep a bodily distance of no less than six toes whenever you’re round different folks, and wash your arms usually.

Ought to I put on a face masks?

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is primarily transmitted by viral particles that float within the air or by droplets containing virus. Even people who find themselves contaminated however should not have signs, or haven’t but developed signs, can infect others. Masks cut back the quantity of virus we breathe in and breathe out. Mixed with the vaccines and boosters, masks present a one-two punch that reduces the danger of unfold. Masks additionally present safety for the wearer, even those that are absolutely vaccinated.

As the newest COVID surge relaxes its grip within the US, many states, cities, and colleges are eradicating their indoor masks mandates. The CDC additionally issued up to date tips, tying masks use suggestions to ranges of the virus in a given group. COVID ranges could also be categorized as low, medium, or excessive, and are calculated by hospital beds being utilized by COVID sufferers, COVID-related hospital admissions, and the entire variety of new COVID-19 circumstances in an space. You’ll be able to click on right here to examine the COVID degree in your county.

In accordance with the brand new CDC tips, everybody ought to masks indoors in public when COVID ranges are excessive. People who find themselves immunocompromised or at excessive threat for extreme sickness are inspired to masks indoors when COVID ranges are medium. When group ranges are low, people can determine whether or not to masks indoors based mostly on their particular person dangers and preferences.

Listed below are some factors to think about as you determine whether or not you and your loved ones ought to proceed masking indoors.

  • We’re nonetheless within the midst of a pandemic. As of late February 2022, there are almost 2,500 COVID deaths per day within the US.
  • Your determination ought to replicate your private well being dangers: in case you or a member of your loved ones is at elevated threat for an infection or extreme COVID sickness, or in case you are unvaccinated, proceed masking indoors.
  • Masking insurance policies can’t all the time sustain with the virus. When COVID circumstances are excessive, think about masking indoors no matter whether or not there’s a masks mandate in place.
  • Your determination to masks indoors could change over time, and you could return to carrying a masks indoors after a interval of not masking indoors.
  • Masking reduces the danger of unfold to weak populations: younger kids who usually are not but eligible for vaccines, folks with weakened immune methods, older adults who’re at elevated threat for extreme sickness, and others who’re unvaccinated.
  • Masks don’t simply assist to flatten the curve; in addition they assist to stop surges from taking place within the first place.

A high-quality, well-fitting masks offers good safety even when folks round you might be unmasked. Prime quality KN95, KF94, and N95 masks have the tightest match and the very best filtration. Make sure that your masks utterly covers your nostril and mouth, and suits snugly in opposition to the perimeters of your face with out leaving any gaps.

Transmission is way much less more likely to happen open air, and masks usually are not wanted in most outside settings.


Extra about COVID-19


Dependable sources


Phrases to know

aerosols: infectious viral particles that may float or drift round within the air. Aerosols are emitted by an individual contaminated with coronavirus — even one with no signs — after they discuss, breathe, cough, or sneeze. One other individual can breathe in these aerosols and turn into contaminated with the virus. Aerosolized coronavirus can stay within the air for as much as three hours. A masks might help stop that unfold.

antibodies: proteins made by the immune system to combat infections. If the antibodies later encounter the identical an infection, they assist stop sickness by recognizing the microbe and stopping it from getting into cells.

antibody take a look at: also referred to as a serologic take a look at, an antibody take a look at is a blood take a look at that appears for antibodies created by your immune system. An antibody take a look at can point out in case you had been beforehand contaminated however is just not a dependable option to decide whether or not you might be at present contaminated.

antigen: a substance displayed on the floor of a microbe that stimulates the physique to provide an immune response.

antigen take a look at: a diagnostic take a look at that detects particular proteins on the floor of the virus.

booster: a further dose of COVID-19 vaccine given after safety from the preliminary vaccine sequence begins to say no. A homologous booster is similar model because the preliminary vaccine; a heterologous booster is a distinct model than the preliminary vaccine.

group unfold (group transmission): is alleged to have occurred when folks have been contaminated with none information of contact with somebody who has the identical an infection

contact tracing: a course of that begins with figuring out everybody an individual recognized with a given sickness (on this case COVID-19) has been involved with since they grew to become contagious. The contacts are notified that they’re in danger, and should embrace those that share the individual’s dwelling, in addition to individuals who had been in the identical place across the similar time because the individual with COVID-19 — a faculty, workplace, restaurant, or physician’s workplace, for instance. Contacts could also be quarantined or requested to isolate themselves in the event that they begin to expertise signs, and usually tend to be examined for coronavirus if they start to expertise signs.

containment: refers to limiting the unfold of an sickness. As a result of no vaccines exist to stop COVID-19 and no particular therapies exist to deal with it, containment is finished utilizing public well being interventions. These could embrace figuring out and isolating those that are in poor health, and monitoring down anybody they’ve had contact with and probably inserting them underneath quarantine.

diagnostic take a look at: signifies whether or not you might be at present contaminated with COVID-19. A pattern is collected utilizing a swab of your nostril, your nostril and throat, or your saliva. The pattern is then checked for the virus’s genetic materials (PCR take a look at) or for particular viral proteins (antigen take a look at).

effectiveness: signifies the good thing about a vaccine in the true world.

efficacy: signifies the good thing about a vaccine in comparison with a placebo within the context of a scientific trial.

epidemic: a illness outbreak in a group or area

flattening the curve: refers back to the epidemic curve, a statistical chart used to visualise the variety of new circumstances over a given time period throughout a illness outbreak. Flattening the curve is shorthand for implementing mitigation methods to gradual issues down, in order that fewer new circumstances develop over an extended time period. This will increase the probabilities that hospitals and different healthcare services might be outfitted to deal with any inflow of sufferers.

false unfavorable: a take a look at outcome that mistakenly signifies you aren’t contaminated if you find yourself.

false constructive: a take a look at outcome that mistakenly signifies you might be contaminated if you find yourself not.

herd immunity: herd immunity happens when sufficient folks turn into resistant to a illness to make its unfold unlikely. Because of this, all the group is protected, even those that usually are not themselves immune. Herd immunity is normally achieved by vaccination, however it may possibly additionally happen by pure an infection.

immunity: partial or full safety from a particular an infection as a result of an individual has both had that an infection beforehand or has been vaccinated in opposition to it.

incubation interval: the time period between publicity to an an infection and when signs start

isolation: the separation of individuals with a contagious illness from people who find themselves not sick

long-haulers: individuals who haven’t absolutely recovered from COVID-19 weeks and even months after first experiencing signs.

mitigation: refers to steps taken to restrict the impression of an sickness. As a result of no vaccines exist to stop COVID-19 and no particular therapies exist to deal with it, mitigation methods could embrace frequent and thorough handwashing, not touching your face, staying away from people who find themselves sick, social distancing, avoiding giant gatherings, and usually cleansing often touched surfaces and objects at dwelling, in colleges, at work, and in different settings.

mutation: A change to a virus’s genetic materials that happens when the virus is replicating. The change is handed on to future generations of the virus.    

monoclonal antibodies: laboratory-produced proteins designed to imitate naturally occurring antibodies that concentrate on particular antigens on viruses, micro organism, and most cancers cells.  

mRNA: quick for messenger ribonucleic acid, mRNA is genetic materials that comprises directions for making proteins.

mRNA vaccines: mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 comprise artificial mRNA. Contained in the physique, the mRNA enters human cells and instructs them to provide the “spike” protein discovered on the floor of the COVID-19 virus. The physique acknowledges the spike protein as an invader, and produces antibodies in opposition to it. If the antibodies later encounter the precise virus, they’re prepared to acknowledge and destroy it earlier than it causes sickness.

pandemic: a illness outbreak affecting giant populations or an entire area, nation, or continent

bodily distancing: additionally referred to as social distancing, refers to actions taken to cease or decelerate the unfold of a contagious illness. For a person, it refers to sustaining sufficient bodily distance (a minimal of six toes) between your self and one other individual to scale back the danger of inhaling droplets or aerosols which might be produced when an contaminated individual breathes, talks, coughs, or sneezes.

polymerase chain response (PCR) take a look at: a diagnostic take a look at that detects the presence of the virus’s genetic materials.

post-viral syndrome: the constellation of signs skilled by COVID-19 lengthy haulers. These signs could embrace fatigue, mind fog, shortness of breath, chills, physique ache, headache, joint ache, chest ache, cough, and lingering lack of style or scent.

presumptive constructive take a look at outcome: a constructive take a look at for the virus that causes COVID-19, carried out by an area or state well being laboratory, is taken into account “presumptive” till the result’s confirmed by the CDC. Whereas awaiting affirmation, folks with a presumptive constructive take a look at outcome might be thought of to be contaminated.

quarantine: separates and restricts the motion of people that have a contagious illness, have signs which might be in line with the illness, or had been uncovered to a contagious illness, to see in the event that they turn into sick

SARS-CoV-2: quick for extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2 is the official identify for the virus liable for COVID-19.

social distancing: additionally referred to as bodily distancing, refers to actions taken to cease or decelerate the unfold of a contagious illness. For a person, it refers to sustaining sufficient bodily distance (a minimal of six toes) between your self and one other individual to scale back the danger of inhaling droplets or aerosols which might be produced when an contaminated individual breathes, talks, coughs, or sneezes. It’s potential to soundly keep social connections whereas social distancing, by telephone calls, video chats, and social media platforms.

spike protein: a protein on the floor of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that binds to and permits the virus to enter human cells.

variant: A virus containing a number of mutations that make it totally different from a model of the virus that has been circulating.

variants of concern: SARS-CoV-2 viruses with mutations that make them extra more likely to unfold, evade vaccines, or make folks sicker.

vector: a innocent capsule. In a vaccine, a vector could also be used to ship a substance into the physique with a view to immediate an immune response.

virus: a virus is the smallest of infectious microbes, smaller than micro organism or fungi. A virus consists of a small piece of genetic materials (DNA or RNA) surrounded by a protein shell. Viruses can’t survive with out a residing cell through which to breed. As soon as a virus enters a residing cell (the host cell) and takes over a cell’s inside workings, the cell can’t perform its regular life-sustaining duties. The host cell turns into a virus manufacturing plant, making viral elements that then reassemble into complete viruses and go on to contaminate different cells. Ultimately, the host cell dies.


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Questions?

Harvard Well being Publishing Coronavirus Useful resource Middle Specialists

The Harvard Well being Publishing group wish to acknowledge the Harvard Medical College consultants who’ve contributed their time and experience: Steven A. Adelman, MD; Ashwini Bapat, MD; Nicole Baumer, MD, MEd; Suzanne Bertisch, MD, MPH; Joseph R. Betancourt, MD, MPH; Barry R. Bloom, PhD; Emeric Bojarski, MD; Melissa Brodrick, MEd; Andrew E. Budson, MD; Stephanie Collier, MD, MPH; Todd Ellerin, MD; Huma Farid, MD; Elizabeth Pegg Frates, MD; Robert Gabbay, MD, PhD, FACP; Alan Geller, MPH, RN; Ellen S. Glazer, LICSW; David C. Grabowski, PhD; Shelly Greenfield, MD, MPH; Ilona T. Goldfarb, MD, MPH; Peter Grinspoon, MD; Abraar Karan, MD, MPH, DTM&H; Sabra L. Katz-Sensible, PhD; Alyson Kelley-Hedgepeth, MD; Anthony Komaroff, MD; Douglas Krakower, MD; Debi LaPlante, PhD; Howard E. LeWine, MD; Dara Okay. Lee Lewis, MD; Sharon Levy, MD, MPH; Kristina Liu, MD, MHS; Julia Marcus, PhD, MPH; Luana Marques, PhD; Claire McCarthy, MD; Chris McDougle, MD; Babar Memon, MD, MSc; Kristin Moffitt, MD; Uma Naidoo, MD; Janelle Nassim, MD; Justin Neiman; Vikram Patel, MBBS, PhD; Edward Phillips, MD; Shiv Pillai, PhD, MBBS; John Ross, MD, FIDSA; Lee H. Schwamm, MD; Catherine Ullman Shade, PhD, MEd; Howard J. Shaffer, PhD, CAS; Roger Shapiro, MD, MPH; John Sharp, MD; Amy C. Sherman, MD; Robert H. Shmerling, MD; Jacqueline Sperling, PhD; Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, MPH, MPA, FAAP, FACP, FTOS; Daybreak Sugarman, PhD; Monique Tello, MD, MPH; Robyn Thom, MD; Karen Turner, OTR/L; Rochelle Wallensky, MD, MPH; Janice Ware, PhD; Bobbi Wegner, PsyD; Scott Weiner, MD; Sarah Wilkie, MS; Anna R. Wolfson, MD.

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