People at Higher Risk

People at Higher Risk

Getting vaccinated and getting your booster shot when you're eligible is the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19, especially from severe illness, hospitalization and death. 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.

The CDC recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems get an additional dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) at least 28 days after their first two doses and before getting their booster shot. Learn more about getting an additional dose


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 risks are low, pregnant and recently pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared to people who are not pregnant. Having certain underlying medical conditions, and other factors, including age, can further increase the risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19 during or recently after pregnancy (for at least 42 days following the end of pregnancy).

    People who have COVID-19 during pregnancy are also at risk for preterm birth (delivering the baby earlier than 37 weeks) and stillbirth and might be at increased risk for pregnancy complications. 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.