How to Protect Yourself & Others

Get Vaccinated and stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines.

  • COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing you from getting sick. COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death.

  • Getting vaccinated is the best way to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

  • CDC recommends that everyone who is eligible stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, including people with weakened immune systems.

Watch for Symptoms

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headache

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention

Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID- 19. If Someone is showing any of these signs: seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing

  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

  • New confusion

  • Inability to wake or stay awake

  • Pale, gray, or blue- colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone. 

*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

Difference between COVID-19 & Flu

Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2), and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses.

COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than flu and causes more serious illnesses in some people. It can also take longer before people show symptoms and people can be contagious for longer. More information about differences between flu and COVID-19 is available in the different sections below.

Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.

While more is learned every day about COVID-19 and the virus that causes it, there is still a lot that is unknown . This page compares COVID-19 and flu, given the best available information to date.

Safety of COVID- 19 Vaccines

What you need to know:

  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

  • Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in US history.

  • CDC recommends you get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.

  • If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume many activities that you did prior to the pandemic. Learn more about what you can do when you have been fully vaccinated.

Hundreds of Millions of People Have Safely Received a COVID-19 Vaccine

More than 550 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been given in the United States from December 14, 2020, through February 22, 2022. 

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization (EUA). 

The Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccines will continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in US history. This monitoring includes using both established and new safety monitoring systems to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe.

Common Side Effects

After COVID-19 vaccination, some people may feel ill, with symptoms like fever or tiredness for a day or two after receiving the vaccine. These symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building immunity. Some people have no side effects. Others have reported common side effects after COVID-19 vaccination, such as:

  • Swelling, redness, and pain at the injection site

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Tiredness

  • Muscle pain

  • Chills

  • Nausea
     

Consult a doctor for medical advice or schedule an appointment with us at the People Care Institute for more info!

 

Note: The information you see describes what usually happens with a medical condition, but doesn't apply to everyone. This information isn't a substitute for medical advice, so make sure to contact a healthcare provider if you have a medical problem. If you think you may have a medical.