People at Higher Risk

People at Higher Risk

Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself from getting COVID-19. If you have a condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, you may not be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. Talk to your health care provider. Even after vaccination, you may want to continue taking precautions.


If you are unvaccinated, the risk for more severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age and is higher for people of any age with certain underlying medical conditions. Severe illness means that the person with COVID-19 may need:

  • hospitalization
  • intensive care
  • a ventilator or special equipment to help them breathe
  • or they may even die

If you are unvaccinated and in one of these groups, take these extra precautions in addition to general prevention steps.

    Extra Precautions
    • Talk to your health care provider about getting the COVID-19 vaccine and if other whether your vaccinations are up-to-date. 
    • Continue your medications and do not change your treatment plan without talking to your health care provider. 
    • Have at least a two-week supply of prescription and non-prescription medications. Consider having your medications delivered.
    • Do not delay getting emergency care for any underlying medical condition because of COVID-19. 
    • Call your health care provider if you have concerns about underlying medical conditions or if you get sick and think that you may have COVID-19.

    Find support if you are affected by asthma, lung disease, diabetes, smoking or tobacco or heart disease.

    PEOPLE WHO MAY BE More Affected by COVID-19 Than Others

    Opportunities for better health begin in our families, neighborhoods, schools and jobs. Things like lack of access to medical care, healthy food or quality housing, are inequities that can make people more at risk for getting COVID-19 or having a more severe illness. Read more from the CDC about:

    SUPPORTING PEOPLE WHO MAY Be More Affected by COVID-19 Than Others

    PEOPLE WHO are pregnant, Recently pregnant or breastfeeding

    Although the overall risk of severe illness is low, pregnant and recently pregnant people are at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared to non-pregnant people. Having certain underlying medical conditions, and other factors, including age, can further increase a pregnant or recently pregnant (for at least 42 days following the end of pregnancy) person’s risk for developing severe illness.

    Pregnant people with COVID-19 are also at risk for preterm birth (delivering the baby earlier than 37 weeks) and might be at increased risk for other poor pregnancy outcomes. Therefore, it is especially important for pregnant and recently pregnant people, and those who live with or visit them, to take steps to protect themselves from getting COVID-19. Learn more from the CDC about COVID-19 and pregnancy.

    Current evidence suggests that breast milk is not likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to babies. Learn more from the CDC about COVID-19 and breastfeeding.