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COVID-19 is still out there.

COVID-19 is an illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that can lead to potential serious consequences.

While the burden of disease is currently lower than at previous peaks earlier in the pandemic, there are still thousands of COVID-19–associated hospitalizations and hundreds of deaths each week.

Reasons why COVID-19 is still a concern.

The information on this page is not product specific and does not include statements of vaccine efficacy or effectiveness.

Click topics below to learn more.

Risk Factors for Severe COVID-19 Hospitalization Related to COVID-19 Understanding Long COVIDMultisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children and Adults

Risk Factors for Severe COVID-19

Some people are at a higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.

~75% of American adults have at least one risk factor.1
  1. Ajufo E, Rao S, Navar AM, Pandey A, Ayers CR, Khera A. U.S. population at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Am J Prev Cardiol. 2021;6:100156. Published correction appears in Am J Prev Cardiol. 2021;6:100195.

According to the CDC, risk factors can include*:

Being 50 or older

Being overweight

Being a current or former smoker

Having diabetes

Having heart conditions

Having chronic lung conditions

Having a chronic kidney disease

Having a weakened immune system

*This isn’t a complete list of risk factors and is not in the order of severity.

Visit to learn more about conditions that increase your likelihood of becoming very sick with COVID-19.

According to the CDC, the more risk factors you have, the higher the likelihood of getting very sick with COVID-19.

Factors Affecting Health Equity

Some people have a greater chance of getting very sick or even dying from COVID-19 because of where they live or work, or because they can’t easily access health care. This includes many people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds and those with disabilities.

Explore additional information from the CDC regarding COVID-19 Vaccine Equity and Vaccine Information for People With Disabilities.

Many Americans have been hospitalized for COVID-19.

1,047,035 The number of COVID-19–related hospitalizations in the US for all ages from January 1, 2023 to February 3, 2024.
Adults aged ≥65 years accounted for 62.9% of all COVID-19–associated hospitalizations from January 2023 to August 2023.2

Based on total number of new hospital admissions as reported by the CDC Data Tracker. See the most current information and important considerations regarding data collection at

  1. Taylor CA, Patel K, Patton ME, et al; COVID-NET Surveillance Team. COVID-19–associated hospitalizations among U.S. adults aged ≥65 years — COVID-NET, 13 states, January–August 2023. MMWR. 2023;72(40):1089-1094.

Understanding Long COVID

The information in this section is not product specific and does not include statements of vaccine efficacy or effectiveness.

Some people who have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 can experience long-term effects from their infection, known as Long COVID. This may last weeks, months, or years after a COVID-19 infection and can include a wide range of symptoms§:

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General symptoms

such as fever, tiredness, fatigue, or symptoms that get worse after physical or mental effort

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Respiratory and heart symptoms

such as difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, cough, or chest pain

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Neurological symptoms

such as difficulty thinking or concentrating, headache, sleep problems, or lightheadedness

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Digestive symptoms

such as diarrhea or stomach pain

§This list does not include all the possible symptoms of Long COVID. To learn more about possible Long COVID symptoms, please visit

Although Long COVID occurs more often in people who had severe COVID-19 illness, anyone who has been infected or re-infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus can experience it.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics Household Pulse Survey for ages 18 years and older, an estimated 9.5% of adults who ever had COVID-19 were experiencing Long COVID at the time of survey (October 18-October 30, 2023).||

||The US Census Bureau, in collaboration with multiple federal agencies, launched the Household Pulse Survey to produce data on the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 on American households. Errors can occur for surveys that are implemented quickly, achieve low response rates, and rely on online response.

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children and Adults

The information in this section is not product specific and does not include statements of vaccine efficacy or effectiveness.

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) is a rare but serious condition associated with COVID-19 in which different internal and external body parts become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal tract. MIS can affect children (MIS-C) and adults (MIS-A), days to weeks after getting sick with COVID-19.

MIS-C case definition includes people who are younger than 21 years old, and MIS-A case definition includes people who are 21 years and older.

Please visit to learn more about MIS-C and MIS-A signs and symptoms, and when to seek emergency care.

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Actor portrayal of a nurse helping a man walk through a hallway

The virus that causes COVID-19 changes and evolves.

These changes to the virus occur over time and can lead to new variants. COVID-19 is very contagious and can spread quickly. It most often causes respiratory symptoms, but other parts of your body may also be affected by the disease. Most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms, but some people may become severely ill.

People report a wide range of COVID-19 symptoms spanning from mild to severe.

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus and can include:
  • 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 the possible symptoms of COVID-19. To learn more about COVID-19 symptoms, please visit

Talk to your healthcare provider about steps you can take to help protect yourself against COVID-19.