IF YOU ARE FULLY VACCINATED
CDC has updated its guidance for people who are fully vaccinated. See Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.

People with Certain Medical Conditions

People with Certain Medical Conditions

Vaccine Information for People with Certain Medical Conditions.

Illustration of people with medical conditions

This information is intended for a general audience. Healthcare providers should see Underlying Medical Conditions Associated with High Risk for Severe COVID-19 for more detailed information.

Overview

Adults of any age with the following conditions can be more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. Severe illness means that a person with COVID-19 may need:

  • Hospitalization
  • Intensive care
  • A ventilator to help them breathe
  • Or they may even die

In addition:

  • Older adults are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. More than 80% of COVID-19 deaths occur in people over age 65, and more than 95% of COVID-19 deaths occur in people older than 45.
  • Long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put various groups of people at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19, including many racial and ethnic minority groups and people with disabilities.
    • Studies have shown people from racial and ethnic minority groups are also dying from COVID-19 at younger ages. People in minority groups are often younger when they develop chronic medical conditions and may be more likely to have more than one condition.
    • People with disabilities are more likely than those without disabilities to have chronic health conditions, live in congregate setting, and face more barriers to healthcare. Studies have shown that some people with certain disabilities are more likely to get COVID-19 and have worse outcomes.

If you have a medical condition, speak with your healthcare provider about steps you can take to manage your health and risks.  

Preventive measures for COVID-19 (including vaccination, wearing a mask and social distancing) are important especially if you are older or have multiple or severe health conditions. You can learn about CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine recommendations, including how medical conditions and other factors inform recommendations, here.

Note: The list below does not include all potential medical conditions that could make you more likely to get severely ill. Rare medical conditions may not be included below. However, a person with a condition that is not listed may still be in more danger from COVID-19 than persons of similar age who do not have the condition and should talk with their healthcare provider.

Medical Conditions in Adults

  • This list is presented in alphabetical order and not in order of risk.
  • CDC completed an evidence review process for each medical condition on this list to ensure they met criteria for inclusion on this webpage.
  • We are learning more about COVID-19 every day, and this list may be updated as the science evolves.

Cancer

Having cancer can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. Treatments for many types of cancer can weaken your body’s ability to fight off disease.  At this time, based on available studies, having a history of cancer may increase your risk.

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Chronic kidney disease

Having chronic kidney disease of any stage can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

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Chronic lung diseases, including COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate-to-severe), interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary hypertension

Chronic lung diseases can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. These diseases may include:

  • Asthma, if it’s moderate to severe
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and chronic bronchitis
  • Having damaged or scarred lung tissue such as interstitial lung disease (including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis)
  • Cystic fibrosis, with or without lung or other solid organ transplant
  • Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs)

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Dementia or other neurological conditions

Having neurological conditions, such as dementia, can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

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Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)

Having either type 1 or type 2 diabetes can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

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Down syndrome

Having Down syndrome can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

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Heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies or hypertension)

Having heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, and possibly high blood pressure (hypertension) can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

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HIV infection

Having HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

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Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system)

Having a weakened immune system can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. Many conditions and treatments can cause a person to be immunocompromised or have a weakened immune system. Primary immunodeficiency is caused by genetic defects that can be inherited. Prolonged use of corticosteroids or other immune weakening medicines can lead to secondary or acquired immunodeficiency.

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Liver disease

Having chronic liver disease, such as alcohol-related liver disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and especially cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

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Overweight and obesity

Overweight (defined as a body mass index (BMI) > 25 kg/m2 but < 30 kg/m2), obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m2 but < 40 kg/m2), or severe obesity (BMI of ≥40 kg/m2), can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.  The risk of severe COVID-19 illness increases sharply with elevated BMI.

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Pregnancy

Pregnant and recently pregnant people (for at least 42 days following end of pregnancy) are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people.

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Sickle cell disease or thalassemia

Having hemoglobin blood disorders like sickle cell disease (SCD) or thalassemia can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

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Smoking, current or former

Being a current or former cigarette smoker can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. If you currently smoke, quit. If you used to smoke, don’t start again. If you’ve never smoked, don’t start.

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Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant

Having had a solid organ or blood stem cell transplant, which includes bone marrow transplants, can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

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Stroke or cerebrovascular disease, which affects blood flow to the brain

Having cerebrovascular disease, such as having a stroke, can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

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Substance use disorders

Having a substance use disorder (such as alcohol, opioid, or cocaine use disorder) can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

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Information on Children and Teens

While children have been less affected by COVID-19 compared with adults, children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and some children develop severe illness. Children with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness compared to children without underlying medical conditions. Current evidence on which underlying medical conditions in children are associated with increased risk is limited. Current evidence suggests that children with medical complexity, with genetic, neurologic, metabolic conditions, or with congenital heart disease can be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Similar to adults, children with obesity, diabetes, asthma or chronic lung disease, sickle cell disease, or immunosuppression can also be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. One way to protect the health of children is to ensure that all adults in a household are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Actions You Can Take

In general, the older you are, the more health conditions you have, and the more severe the conditions, the more important it is to take preventive measures for COVID-19 such as vaccination, wearing a mask , social distancing, and practicing hand hygiene. Please contact your state, tribal, local, or territorial health department for more information on COVID-19 vaccination in your area.

It is important for people with medical conditions and their providers to work together and manage those conditions carefully and safely. Get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can. If you have a medical condition, the following are actions you can take based on your medical conditions and other risk factors:

  • Continue your medicines and do not change your treatment plan without talking to your healthcare provider.
  • Follow your current treatment plan (e.g., Asthma Action Plan, dialysis schedule, blood sugar testing, nutrition and exercise recommendations) to keep your medical condition under control.
  • Have at least a 30-day supply of prescription and non-prescription medicines. Talk to a healthcare provider, insurer, and pharmacist about getting an extra supply (i.e., more than 30 days) of prescription medicines, if possible, to reduce your trips to the pharmacy.
  • Have shelf-stable food choices available to accommodate dietary needs based on your medical condition (e.g., kidney diet and KCER 3-Day Emergency Diet Planexternal icon, diabetic diet).
  • Know the triggers for your condition and avoid when possible (e.g., avoid asthma triggers by having another member of your household clean and disinfect your house for you or avoid possible sickle cell disease triggers to prevent vaso-occlusive episodes or pain crises).
  • Learn about stress and coping. You may feel increased stress during this pandemic. Fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions.
  • Do not delay getting emergency care for your medical condition because of COVID-19. Emergency departments have infection prevention plans to protect you from getting COVID-19 if you need care.
  • Call your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about your medical conditions or if you get sick and think that you may have COVID-19. If you need emergency help, call 911 right away.
  • When possible, keep preventive care and other routine healthcare appointments (such as vaccinations and blood pressure checks) with your provider. Check with your provider about safety precautions for office visits and ask about telemedicine or remote healthcare visit options.