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The latest updates and information on COVID-19 for myeloma patients: Vaccines, boosters, anti-viral treatments, and answers to FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
COVID-19 Vaccines & Boosters

For Moderately or Severely

Immunocompromised Individuals

(Updated as of March 8, 2024)

Source: CDC

Who are considered as moderately or severely immunocompromised?

Individuals who are moderately or severely immunocompromised have a weakened immune system and are more likely to get sick with COVID-19 or be sick for a longer period. People can be immunocompromised either due to a medical condition of from receipt of immunosuppressive medications or treatments.

According to the CDC:

People are considered to be moderately or severely immunocompromised due to several types of conditions and treatments, including:

  • Active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies
  • Hematologic malignancies associated with poor responses to COVID-19 vaccines regardless of current treatment status (e.g., chronic lymphocytic leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, acute leukemia)
  • Receipt of solid-organ transplant or an islet transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy
  • Receipt of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T-cell therapy or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within 2 years of transplantation or taking immunosuppressive therapy)
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., common variable immunodeficiency disease, severe combined immunodeficiency, DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection (people with HIV and CD4 cell counts less than 200/mm3, history of an AIDS-defining illness without immune reconstitution, or clinical manifestations of symptomatic HIV)
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (i.e., 20 or more mg of prednisone or equivalent per day when administered for 2 or more weeks), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory

If you or someone you live or spend time with is immunocompromised, it is important to have a COVID-19 plan to protect yourself from infection and prepare for what to do if you get sick. 

What do you need to know if you are moderately or severely immunocompromised?

What You Need to Know

  • CDC recommends the 2023–2024 updated COVID-19 vaccines: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Novavax to protect against serious illness from COVID-19.
  • Everyone aged 6 months and older who is moderately or severely immunocompromised needs at least 1 dose of a 2023-2024 updated COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on the number of doses you’ve previously received, you may need more than 1 dose of updated vaccine:

          - If you have not gotten any COVID-19 vaccines (not vaccinated), you should get 2-3 doses of updated COVID-19 vaccine.
          - If you got 1 previous Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine you should get 1-2 doses of updated COVID-19 vaccine.
          - If you got 2 or more previous COVID-19 vaccines, you should get 1 updated COVID-19 vaccine.

  • People who are immunocompromised and aged 65 years and older who received 1 dose of any updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Novavax) should receive 1 additional dose of an updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine at least 2 months after the previous updated dose.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about getting additional doses of updated COVID-19 vaccine.

Recommendations For People Aged 6 Months and Older Who Are Moderately or Severely Immunocompromised

People Who Have Not Had Any Previous COVID-19 Vaccines (Not vaccinated)
People aged 6 months and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised and not vaccinated should get 2 or 3 doses of the same brand of updated COVID-19 vaccine. They also may be able to get additional doses. None of the recommended updated COVID-19 vaccines is preferred over another.

 

As a myeloma patient, should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The IMF strongly recommends that patients with multiple myeloma (MM), smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM), or monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) get vaccinated either with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna vaccine, whichever is available. These vaccines offer excellent benefits, and in general, have very limited and brief side effects or toxicities. Currently, the efficacy of these vaccines far outweighs any toxicity concerns.

Should I consult with my doctor before getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

Before getting the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s best to consult with your doctor first to discuss your medical condition in order to address questions and concerns which may arise before planning for your vaccination.

Vaccination for children ages 6 months and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised

For people ages 6 months and older who are previously unvaccinated:

Pfizer-BioNTech

1st Dose
Pfizer-BioNTech
UPDATED VACCINE

2nd Dose
Pfizer-BioNTech
UPDATED VACCINE
3 weeks after 1st dose

3rd Dose
Pfizer-BioNTech
UPDATED VACCINE
At least 8 weeks after 2nd dose for children aged 6 months to 4 years. At least 4 weeks for people of all other ages.
 

Moderna

1st Dose
Moderna
UPDATED VACCINE

2nd Dose
Moderna
UPDATED VACCINE
4 weeks after 1st dose

3rd Dose
Moderna
UPDATED VACCINE
At least 4 weeks after 2nd dose
 

Novavax

1st Dose
Novavax
UPDATED VACCINE

2nd Dose
Novavax
UPDATED VACCINE
3 weeks after 1st dose

For children ages 6 months and older who got previous COVID-19 vaccines:

People aged 6 months and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised and got COVID-19 vaccines before September 12, 2023 should get 1 or 2 doses of updated COVID-19 vaccine, depending on your age and the number of doses you got previously.

Pfizer-BioNTech (For ages 6 months-11 years)

One Previous Dose

2nd Dose
Pfizer-BioNTech
UPDATED VACCINE
3 weeks after 1st dose

3rd Dose
Pfizer-BioNTech
UPDATED VACCINE
At least 8 weeks after 2nd dose for children aged 6 months to 4 years. At least 4 weeks for people of all other ages.

Two previous doses

1 Dose
Pfizer-BioNTech
UPDATED VACCINE
At least 8 weeks after last dose for children aged 6 months to 4 years. At least 4 weeks for people of all other ages.

Three or more previous doses

1 Dose
Pfizer-BioNTech
UPDATED VACCINE
At least 8 weeks after last dose. (Children aged 5 years –11 years can get Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.)

 

Pfizer-BioNTech (For ages 12 years and older)

One Previous Dose

2nd Dose
Pfizer-BioNTech
UPDATED VACCINE
3 weeks after 1st dose

3rd Dose
Pfizer-BioNTech
UPDATED VACCINE
At least 4 weeks after last dose.

Two previous doses

3rd Dose
Pfizer-BioNTech
UPDATED VACCINE
At least 4 weeks after last dose.

Three or more previous doses

3rd Dose
Pfizer-BioNTech
UPDATED VACCINE
At least 4 weeks after last dose.

Moderna (For ages 6 months-11 years)

One Previous Dose

2nd Dose
Moderna
UPDATED VACCINE
4 weeks after 1st dose

3rd Dose
Moderna
UPDATED VACCINE
At least 4 weeks after 2nd dose

Two previous doses

1 Dose
Moderna
UPDATED VACCINE
At least 4 weeks after last dose

Moderna (For ages 12 years and older)

One Previous Dose

2nd Dose
Moderna
UPDATED VACCINE
4 weeks after 1st dose

3rd Dose
Moderna
UPDATED VACCINE
At least 4 weeks after 2nd dose

Two previous doses

3rd Dose
Moderna
UPDATED VACCINE
At least 4 weeks after last dose

Three or more previous doses

1 Dose
Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Novavax
UPDATED VACCINE
At least 8 weeks after last dose

Novavax
People Aged 12 Years and Older Only

One or More Previous Doses

1 Dose
Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Novavax
UPDATED VACCINE
At least 8 weeks after last dose.


Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen
People Aged 18 Years and Older Only

One or More Previous Doses

1 Dose
Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Novavax
UPDATED VACCINE
At least 8 weeks after last dose.

J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is no longer available for use in the United States as of May 6, 2023.


People Who May Get an Additional Updated COVID-19 Vaccine
People aged 6 months and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may get additional updated COVID-19 vaccine doses 2 or more months after the last recommended COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information.

COVID-19 Vaccination

General questions about COVID-19 vaccines and boosters

(Updated as of May 14, 2024)

Source: CDC 

When are you up to date with COVID-19 vaccines?

What you need to know, according to the CDC:

  • CDC recommends the 2023–2024 updated COVID-19 vaccines: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Novavax, to protect against serious illness from COVID-19.
  • Everyone aged 5 years and older ‡ should get 1 dose of an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against serious illness from COVID-19.
  • Children aged 6 months–4 years need multiple doses of COVID-19 vaccines to be up to date, including at least 1 dose of updated COVID-19 vaccine.
  • People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may get additional doses of updated COVID-19 vaccine.
  • People aged 65 years and older who received 1 dose of any updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Novavax) should receive 1 additional dose of an updated COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after the previous updated dose. For more Novavax information, click or tap here.
  • COVID-19 vaccine recommendations will be updated as needed.
  • People who are up to date have lower risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19 than people who are unvaccinated or who have not completed the doses recommended for them by CDC.

 

When Are You Up to Date?

People aged 5—64 years
You are up to date when you get 1 age-appropriate updated COVID-19 vaccine.‡

Children aged 6 months—4 years
You are up to date when you get all recommended doses, including at least 1 dose of updated COVID-19 vaccine.

 

People aged 65 years and older

You are up to date when you have received 2 updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine doses

People aged 65 years and older who have not previously received any COVID-19 vaccine doses and choose to get Novavax should get 2 doses of updated Novavax vaccine, followed by 1 additional dose of any updated 2023–2024 COVID-19 vaccine to be up to date.

People who got the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine
You are up to date when you get 1 updated COVID-19 vaccine.

How Well COVID-19 Vaccines Work

  • People who are up to date have lower risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19 than people who are unvaccinated or who have not completed the doses recommended for them by CDC.
  • Additional updated COVID-19 vaccine doses can help restore protection that has decreased since previous vaccination.
  • CDC will continue to provide updates as we learn more.

Recommendation for everyone aged 5 years and older

Everyone aged 5 years and older ‡ should get 1 dose of an updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against serious illness from COVID-19. None of the updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccines is preferred over another.


Children aged 5 years – 11 years who are not vaccinated or have gotten previous COVID-19 vaccine(s)
Children aged 5 years – 11 years who are unvaccinated or have previously gotten a COVID-19 vaccine before September 12, 2023, should get 1 updated Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

People aged 12 years and older who are not vaccinated
People aged 12 years and older who are unvaccinated should get either:

  •         1 updated Pfizer-BioNTech or updated Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, OR 
  •         2 doses of updated Novavax COVID-19 vaccine. 

People aged 12 years and older who got previous COVID-19 vaccine(s)
People aged 12 years and older who got COVID-19 vaccines before September 12, 2023, should get 1 updated Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Novavax COVID-19 vaccine.

Recommendation for people who may get additional updated COVID-19 vaccines:

People ages 65 years and older should receive 1 additional dose of any updated (2023–2024 formula) COVID-19 vaccine (i.e., Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Novavax) at least 4 months following the previous dose of updated (2023–2024 Formula) COVID-19 vaccine.

People aged 65 years and older who have not previously received any COVID-19 vaccine doses and choose to get Novavax should get 2 doses of updated Novavax vaccine, followed by 1 additional dose of any updated 2023–2024 COVID-19 vaccine to be up to date.
 

Recommendations for children aged 6 months-4 years 

Children who are not vaccinated

Children aged 6 months-4 years should get two or three doses of updated COVID-19 vaccine depending on which vaccine they receive.

Pfizer-BioNTech: (6 months-4 years)

  • 1st dose - Pfizer-BioNTech - Updated Vaccine
  • 2nd dose - Pfizer-BioNTech - Updated Vaccine - 3-8 weeks after 1st dose
  • 3rd dose - Pfizer-BioNTech- Updated Vaccine - at least 8 weeks after 2nd dose

Moderna: (6 months- 4 years)

  • 1st dose - Moderna - Updated Vaccine
  • 2nd dose - Moderna - Updated Vaccine - 4-8 weeks after first dose

Note: Children this age may receive Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines after the first Moderna vaccine in some situations.

Children who got previous COVID-19 vaccine/s

Children aged 6 months-4 years who got COVID-19 vaccines before September 12, 2023, should get one or two doses of updated COVID-19 vaccine depending on which vaccine and the number of doses they've previously received.

Pfizer-BioNTech: (6 months-4 years)

One previous dose

  • 2nd dose - Pfizer-BioNTech - Updated Vaccine - 3-8 weeks after 1st dose
  • 3rd dose - Pfizer-BioNTech- Updated Vaccine - at least 8 weeks after 2nd dose

Two or more previous doses

  • One dose - Pfizer-BioNTech - Updated Vaccine - at least 8 weeks after the last dose

Moderna: (6 months- 4 years)

One previous dose

  • 1 Dose Moderna - Updated Vaccine - 4-8 weeks after 1st dose

Two or more previous doses

  • One dose - Moderna - Updated Vaccine - at least 8 weeks after the last dose

Note: Children this age may receive Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines after the first Moderna vaccine in some situations.

For additional information, visit the CDC website.

 

Can I get vaccinated if I had or currently have COVID-19?

According to CDC:

If you recently had COVID-19, you still need to stay up to date with your vaccines, but you may consider delaying your next vaccine dose (whether a primary dose or booster) by 3 months from:

  • when your symptoms started.
  • Or, if you had no symptoms, when you first received a positive test.

Reinfection is less likely in the weeks to months after infection. However, certain factors could be reasons to get a vaccine sooner rather than later, such as:

  • personal risk of severe disease,
  • or risk of disease in a loved one or close contact,
  • local COVID-19 Community Level,
  • and the most common COVID-19 variant currently causing illness.
Why do I need to get a COVID-19 booster?

According to the CDC:

Boosters are an important part of protecting yourself from getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19. People ages 6 months and older should receive 1 updated booster, if they are eligible, including those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.

The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines and boosters for everyone ages 6 months and older, if eligible.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine recommendations, including recommendations for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised. Use CDC’s COVID-19 Booster Tool to learn if and when you can get boosters to stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines.

Are there side effects after getting a COVID-19 booster?

After getting vaccinated, adults and children may experience some side effects including pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea. Serious side effects are rare, but may occur.

According to CDC:

  • Side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine can vary from person to person.
  • Some people experience a little discomfort and can continue to go about their day. Others have side effects that affect their ability to do daily activities.
  • Side effects generally go away in a few days.
  • Even if you don’t experience any side effects, your body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Adverse events (serious health problems) are rare but can cause long-term health problems. They usually happen within six weeks of getting a vaccine.

 

Safeguards are in place:

  • Everyone who gets a COVID-19 vaccine should be monitored on site for at least 15 minutes after vaccination.
  • You should be monitored for 30 minutes if:
  1. You have had a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis due to any cause.
  2. You have had any type of immediate (within 4 hours) allergic reaction to a non-COVID-19 vaccine or injectable therapy.
  3. You had a severe allergic reaction to one type of COVID-19 vaccine (for example, an mRNA vaccine) and are now receiving another type of COVID-19 vaccine (for example, a viral vector). This vaccination should only be done in a health clinic, medical facility, or doctor’s office.
  4. You had an immediate (within 4 hours) allergic reaction that was not severe from a previous dose of that type of COVID-19 vaccine. This vaccination should only be done in a health clinic, medical facility, or doctor’s office.
What are some of the common side effects after a COVID-19 vaccination?

Side effects after a COVID-19 vaccination tend to be mild, temporary, and like those experienced after routine vaccinations. They can vary across different age groups.

6 MONTHS–3 YEARS

  • Pain on the leg or arm where the shot was given
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Irritability or crying
  • Sleepiness
  • Loss of appetite

 

4–17 YEARS
Side effects are more common after the second dose and can include:

  • Pain, swelling, and redness on the arm where the shot was given
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes

 

ADULTS 18 YEARS AND OLDER

On the arm where you got the shot:

  • COVID-19 vaccine vials
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling

Throughout the rest of your body:

  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea
Are there side effects are getting a 2nd COVID-19 booster?

Reactions reported after getting a booster shot are similar to those after the two-dose or single-dose primary shots. Most side effects were mild to moderate.

The most commonly reported side effects were:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Pain at the injection site
What should I do if I experience adverse effects from COVID-19 vaccines?

Adverse events, including severe allergic reactions, after COVID-19 vaccination are rare but can happen. For this reason, everyone who receives a COVID-19 vaccine is monitored by their vaccination provider for at least 15 minutes.

After leaving a vaccination provider site, if you think you or your child might be having a severe allergic reaction, seek immediate medical care by calling 911.

An allergic reaction, while rare, may occur after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. 

If you had an immediate allergic reaction (a reaction that started within 4 hours of getting vaccinated) to a COVID-19 vaccine, but the reaction was not considered severe by a medical professional, you likely can receive another dose of the same vaccine under certain conditions. Your doctor may refer you to an allergy and immunology specialist for additional care or advice.

A severe allergic reaction can cause:

  • difficulty breathing or wheezing,
  • a drop in blood pressure,
  • swelling of the tongue or throat, or
  • a generalized rash or hives, which may include mucus membranes.

Severe allergic reactions to vaccines are rare but can happen. If you get a COVID-19 vaccine and you think you might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination provider site, seek immediate medical care by calling 911.
 

If you had a severe allergic reaction after receiving a particular type of COVID-19 vaccine (either mRNA, protein subunit, or viral vector), you should not get another dose of that type of vaccine.

CDC recommends that people getting a booster get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna). However, if you had a severe allergic reaction after a dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or if you have had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you may be able to get the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.

 

What if I get a rash on my arm after getting vaccinated for COVID-19?

According to CDC:

If you had a red, itchy, swollen, or painful rash where you got a COVID-19 shot, you should still get another shot at the scheduled date and time. This applies to second, additional, or booster shots. Your vaccination provider may recommend that you get your next COVID-19 vaccine in the opposite arm, if possible.

These rashes can start a few days to more than a week after your shot and are sometimes quite large. These rashes are also known as “COVID arm.” Tell your vaccination provider that you experienced a rash or “COVID arm” after your shot. Your vaccination provider may recommend that you get your next COVID-19 vaccine in the opposite arm if possible.

If the rash is itchy, you can take an antihistamine. If it is painful, you can take a pain medication like acetaminophen or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

How long does protection from a COVID-19 vaccine last?

We know COVID-19 vaccines continue to work well. Recent data show that 1 dose of the updated booster better protects you against more serious illness, hospitalization, and death.

Scientists are monitoring how long COVID-19 vaccine protection lasts. CDC continues to review evidence and update guidance as new information becomes available.

At this time, 1 updated booster dose is recommended for everyone in order to maintain protection from severe illness. People who have received the updated booster in recent months are better protected against severe illness from COVID-19 than those who have not gotten the updated booster. Receiving more than 1 updated booster is not currently authorized by the U.S. Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Boosters are an important part of protecting yourself from getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19. People ages 6 months and older should receive 1 updated booster, if they are eligible, including those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.

About Paxlovid

General questions about Paxlovid™

For the latest information from the FDA on Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir tablets and ritonavir tablets) please refer to FDA Fact Sheet for Patients, Parents, and Caregivers (last updated 3/2024) or visit https://www.paxlovidinformation.com/

What is Paxlovid ?

Paxlovid is a medicine that is available under EUA for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and children 12 years of age and older weighing at least 88 pounds (40 kg) who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death. 

Paxlovid is FDA-approved for the treatment of COVID-19 in certain adults. 

Paxlovid is not FDA-approved or available under EUA for use in children younger than 12 years or weighing less than 88 pounds (40 kg).

There is limited information about the safety and effectiveness of using Paxlovid to treat children younger than 12 years or weighing less than 88 pounds (40 kg) with mild-to-moderate COVID-19.

What is the standard dose for Paxlovid?

Paxlovid is generally administered at a standard dose of 300 mg (two 150 mg tablets) of nirmatrelvir with one 100 mg tablet of ritonavir, given twice daily for five days. One standard dose carton contains blister packs of PAXLOVID, as co-packaged nirmatrelvir tablets with ritonavir tablets, providing all required doses for a full five-day treatment course. The modified dose for patients with moderate renal impairment (eGFR ≥30 to <60 mL/min) is reduced to 150 mg nirmatrelvir (one 150 mg tablet) with 100 mg ritonavir (one 100 mg tablet), with both tablets taken together twice daily for five days (PAXLOVID is not recommended in patients with severe renal impairment [eGFR <30 mL/min]). For more information, please visit www.PAXLOVID.com. (Source: Pfizer)

What is the most important information I should know about Paxlovid?

Paxlovid can interact with other medicines causing severe or life-threatening side effects or death. It is important to know the medicines that should not be taken with Paxlovid. 

When should I NOT take Paxlovid?

Do NOT take Paxlovid if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • alfuzosin
  • amiodarone
  • apalutamide
  • carbamazepine
  • colchicine
  • dihydroergotamine 
  • dronedarone
  • eletriptan
  • eplerenone
  • ergotamine
  • finerenone
  • flecainide
  • flibanserin
  • ivabradine 
  • lomitapide
  • lovastatin
  • lumacaftor/ivacaftor 
  • lurasidone
  • methylergonovine 
  • midazolam (oral)
  • naloxegol
  • phenobarbital
  • phenytoin
  • pimozide
  • primidone
  • propafenone
  • quinidine 
  • ranolazine
  • rifampin
  • rifapentine
  • St. John’s Wort (hypericum perforatum) 
  • sildenafil (Revatio®) for pulmonary arterial hypertension 
  • silodosin 
  • simvastatin 
  • tolvaptan
  • triazolam
  • ubrogepant 
  • voclosporin 

These are not the only medicines that may cause serious or life-threatening side effects if taken with Paxlovid. Paxlovid may increase or decrease the levels of multiple other medicines. It is very important to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you are taking because additional laboratory tests or changes in the dose of your other medicines may be necessary during treatment with Paxlovid. Your healthcare provider may also tell you about specific symptoms to watch out for that may indicate that you need to stop or decrease the dose of some of your other medicines. 

Do NOT take Paxlovid if you are allergic to nirmatrelvir, ritonavir, or any of the ingredients in Paxlovid. (Source: FDA)

What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take Paxlovid?

Tell your healthcare provider if you: 

  • have kidney problems. You may need a different dose of Paxlovid.
  • have liver problems, including hepatitis.
  • have Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1 (HIV-1) infection. Paxlovid may lead to some HIV-1 medicines not working as well in the future.
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Paxlovid can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you are or if you become pregnant. 
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known of Paxlovid can pass into your breastmilk. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby during treatment with Paxlovid.

Some medicines may interact with Paxlovid and may cause serious side effects. 

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. 

  • Your healthcare provider can tell you if it is safe to take Paxlovid with other medicines. 
  • You can ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for a list of medicines that interact with Paxlovid. 
  • Do not start taking a new medicine without telling your healthcare provider. 

Tell your healthcare provider if you are taking combined birth control (hormonal contraceptive). Paxlovid may affect how your hormonal contraceptives work. Females who are able to become pregnant should use another effective alternative form of contraception or an additional barrier method of contraception during treatment with Paxlovid. 

Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions about contraceptive methods that might be right for you. 

How do I take Paxlovid?

Take Paxlovid exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to take it. Paxlovid consists of 2 medicines: nirmatrelvir tablets and ritonavir 
tablets. The 2 medicines are taken together 2 times each day for 5 days. 

  • Nirmatrelvir is an oval, pink tablet. 
  • Ritonavir is a white or off-white tablet. 

You will receive a Dose Pack containing single-dose blister cards (containing 10 blister cards).

  • If you have kidney disease, your healthcare provider may prescribe a lower dose. Talk to your healthcare provider to make sure you receive the correct Dose Pack.
  • Do not remove your Paxlovid tablets from the blister card before you are ready to take your dose. 
  • Take your first dose of Paxlovid in the morning or evening, depending on when you pick up your prescription, or as your healthcare provider tells you to. 
  • Swallow the tablets whole. Do not chew, break, or crush the tablets. 
  • Take Paxlovid with or without food. 
  • Do not stop taking Paxlovid without talking to your healthcare provider, even if you feel better. 
  • If you miss a dose of Paxlovid within 8 hours of the time it is usually taken, take it as soon as you remember. If you miss a dose by more than 8 hours, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take 2 doses of PAXLOVID at the same time. 
  • If you take too much Paxlovid, call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away. 
  • If you are taking a ritonavir- or cobicistat-containing medicine to treat hepatitis C or HIV-1 infection, you should continue to take your medicine as prescribed by your healthcare provider. 

Talk to your healthcare provider if you do not feel better or if you feel worse after 5 days. 

What are the important possible side effects of Paxlovid?

Paxlovid may cause serious side effects, including: 

  • Allergic reactions, including severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) have happened during treatment with Paxlovid. Stop taking Paxlovid and get medical help right away if you get any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction: skin rash, hives, blisters or peeling skin; painful sores or ulcers in the mouth, nose, throat or genital area; swelling of the mouth, lips, tongue or face; trouble swallowing or breathing; throat tightness or hoarseness 
  • Liver Problems

Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the following signs and symptoms of liver problems during treatment with Paxlovid: 

  • loss of appetite
  • yellowing of your skin and the white of eyes
  • dark-colored urine
  • pale colored stools
  • itchy skin
  • stomach-area (abdominal) pain 

The most common side effects of Paxlovid include: altered sense of taste and diarrhea. 

Other possible side effects include: 

  • headache 
  • vomiting 
  • abdominal pain 
  • nausea 
  • high blood pressure 
  • feeling generally unwell 

These are not all the possible side effects of Paxlovid. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. 

What other treatment choices are there?

Paxlovid is FDA-approved for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in certain adults; however, there are not sufficient quantities of the approved presentations (i.e., dose packs) of Paxlovid at this time. This EUA continues to authorize the emergency use of Paxlovid for the approved patient population to ensure continued access in order to meet the public health need. 

Veklury (remdesivir) is FDA-approved for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in certain adults and children.  This intravenous (IV) therapy is approved for use in both hospitalized and non-hospitalized settings. Talk with your healthcare provider to see if Veklury is appropriate for you. 

The FDA has also approved immune modulators Olumiant (baricitinib), and Actemra (tocilizumab) for certain hospitalized adults with COVID-19. 

For information on the emergency use of other medicines that are authorized by FDA to treat people with COVID-19, please go to https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/mcm-legal-regulatory-and-policy-framework/emergency-use-authorization. Your healthcare provider may talk with you about clinical trials for which you may be eligible. 

It is your choice to be treated or not to be treated with Paxlovid. Should you decide not to receive it or for your child not to receive it, it will not change your standard medical care. 

To know more about other COVID-19 treatment options, visit the FDA website.

What if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

There is limited experience treating pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers with Paxlovid. For a mother and unborn baby, the benefit of taking Paxlovid may be greater than the risk from the treatment. If you are pregnant, discuss your options and specific situation with your healthcare provider. 

If you are breastfeeding, discuss your options and specific situation with your healthcare provider. 

How do I report side effects or problems with the appearance or packaging of Paxlovid?

Contact your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away. 

Report side effects or problems with the appearance or packaging of Paxlovid to FDA MedWatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088 or you can report side effects to Pfizer Inc. at www.pfizersafetyreporting.com, or by calling 1-800-438-1985.

How should I store Paxlovid?

Store Paxlovid tablets at room temperature, between 68 degrees F to 77 degrees F (20 degrees C to 25 degrees C). Keep Paxlovid and all medicines out of the reach of children.

How can I get Paxlovid and other COVID-19 antivirals if they're no longer free?

Through December 31, 2024, individuals covered by Medicare or Medicaid as well as uninsured patients who are eligible for the USG Patient Assistance Program (PAP) can still avail of Paxlovid at no cost, according to the Administration for Strategic Preparedness & Response (ASPR) under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Patients or health care providers and pharmacists on behalf of patients can enroll to participate in the program at https://paxlovid.iassist.com. This program is supported by USG-procured Paxlovid.

Additionally, on January 8, AARP updated its article, “Are COVID-19 Treatments Still Free?” to provide helpful information on how to cover drug costs for COVID-19, now that the federal government is “no longer footing the bill for everyone.” 


Medicare, Medicaid & Other Government Healthcare Programs: Paxlovid

For those with Medicare and Medicaid, Paxlovid will continue to be free this year through a government patient assistance program currently being operated by Pfizer.
 
If you have a prescription for Paxlovid and are on Medicare or Medicaid, you can enroll in the assistance program at paxlovid.iassist.com or by calling 1 (877) 219-7225. Patients, caregivers, health care providers, or pharmacists at the point of care can enroll in the program, which typically takes only about five minutes.

Those enrolled in the program will be covered through December 31, 2024, and “will be able to receive more than one prescribed treatment course of Paxlovid throughout 2024.”

According to Pfizer, there are approximately 55,000 pharmacies (including CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Kroger, Costco, and more) participating in this government-supported patience assistance program with more expected to join. 

Medicare Part D

Additionally, those with Medicare Part D “can choose to use their prescription drug plans to acquire oral antiviral COVID-19 treatments,” with out-of-pocket costs varying by plan. 
 
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is encouraging Part D sponsors “to conduct an expedited review of oral antivirals for COVID-19 released commercially on the market and add at least one oral antiviral for COVID-19 that meets the definition of a Part D drug to their formulary on a preferred or $0 cost-sharing tier, as available in the plan benefit structure.” 
 
If you are a Part D enrollee and are having trouble obtaining Paxlovid coverage, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) advises you to contact their plan or to call 1-800-MEDICARE for assistance.


Indian Health Service, Department of Veteran Affairs, and Department of Defense

According to HHS, if you are getting healthcare through the Indian Health Service, Department of Veteran Affairs, or the Department of Defense, you are eligible “to access a free supply of Paxlovid stockpiled by the federal government.”

 
Other COVID-19 Antiviral Treatments & Assistance Programs

Veklury via Medicare Part B 

Veklury (remdesivir) is a COVID-19 antiviral treatment that is only administered through an IV in a medical facility. It is covered by Medicare Part B. For those with commercial insurance, coverage and out-of-pocket costs for Veklury will vary by plan.
 

Lagevrio and the Merck Patient Assistance Program

Lagevrio is another COVID-19 antiviral treatment that is currently available under an FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Lagevrio is a treatment option for those who are unable to take Paxlovid or Veklury (remdesivir).
 
However, according to Lagevrio drugmaker Merck, there is currently no government program in place for this COVID-19 antiviral treatment. 
 
Merck is offering a patient assistance program for “eligible patients who, without assistance, could not otherwise afford the product.”  Eligibility determination for the program takes about 10-20 minutes. For more information, visit merckhelps.com or call 1 (800)727-5400.


For Those with Private Insurance

Those covered by private insurance may incur out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 antiviral treatments. 
 
Paxlovid and Lagevrio are “subject to the regular cost-sharing policies of your health plan,” says KFF Senior Vice President and Director of the Global Health & HIV Policy Program Jennifer Kates.
 
According to HHS, “federal law does not require commercial plans to cover all possible COVID-19 treatments or put any limits on patient cost-sharing for any commercial plans if the treatments are covered.”
 
Currently, Paxlovid costs $1,390 for a five-day treatment course, as priced by Pfizer. 
 
If your private insurance does not cover Paxlovid or if the out-of-pocket cost is too high, you may be eligible for assistance through Pfizer’s copay program. 
 
The enrollment process is similar to Pfizer’s government-backed patient assistance program. Patients who enroll in this copay program may more than one prescribed treatment course of Paxlovid throughout 2024.
 
Visit paxlovid.iassist.com or call 1(877)219-7225 to enroll in the copay program. 
 
In an October announcement, the HHS stated that it expects commercial coverage for Lagevrio as well. Currently, Lagevrio is priced at $950 for a treatment course.
 

If You Are Uninsured or Underinsured

According to an October 2023 HHS news release, Paxlovid will remain free for people with no health insurance until 2028. Beginning 2025 until 2028, Paxlovid will be free for those who are underinsured. 
 
However, you will need to enroll in the patient assistance program to avail of this benefit. For more information, visit paxlovid.iassist.com or call 1(877)219-7225.
 
Merck’s patient assistance program can also help eligible individuals who are unable to afford the full cost of Lagevrio. For more information, visit merckhelps.com or call 1(800) 727-5400.

COVID-19 and Respiratory Viral Illnesses

General questions about COVID-19 and Respiratory Viruses

Answers to common questions about COVID-19 and other respiratory viral illnesses: prevention, wearing masks, testing, and self-care when you get sick. (Respiratory Virus Guidance updated on 3/1/2024).

 

Why did the CDC update its recommendations for respiratory viral illnesses including COVID-19?

On March 1, 2024, the CDC updated its recommendations "for how people can protect themselves and their communities from respiratory viruses, including COVID-19."

"The new guidance brings a unified approach to addressing the risks from a range of common respiratory viral illnesses, such as COVID-19, flu, and RSV, which can cause significant health impacts and strain on hospitals and health care workers. CDC is making updates to the recommendations now because the U.S. is seeing far fewer hospitalizations and deaths associated with COVID-19 and because we have more tools than ever to combat flu, COVID, and RSV," stated CDC.

As part of the guidance, CDC provides active recommendations on core prevention steps and strategies:

  • Stay up-to-date with vaccinations to protect yourself against serious illness, hospitalization and death. This includes vaccines for flu, COVID-19, and RSV, if eligible.
  • Practice good hygiene by covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, washing or sanitizing your hands often, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces.
  • Take steps for cleaner air by bringing in more fresh outside air, purifying indoor air, or gathering outdoors. 

According to the CDC, please note that the Respiratory Virus Guidance is not applicable to healthcare settings. Additionally, nothing in the guidance supersedes accommodations acquired under federal civil rights laws.

 

What should I do when I get sick with a respiratory virus or COVID-19?

CDC’s Updated Respiratory Virus Guidance: What to Do When You Are Sick


If You Get Sick:

Even if you practice these core prevention strategies, you may still catch a virus and develop respiratory symptoms. If that happens, the updated Guidance recommends two actions:

Step 1: Stay at home. As much as possible, you should stay home and away from others until at least 24 hours after both:

  • Your symptoms are getting better overall, and
  • You have not had a fever (and are not using fever-reducing medication).

This advice is similar to what has been recommended for flu for decades and will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses during the most contagious period after infection. Not all respiratory virus infections result in a fever, so paying attention to other symptoms (cough, muscle aches, etc.) is important as you determine when you are well enough to leave home. If your symptoms are getting better, and stay better for 24 hours, you are less likely to pass your infection to others and you can start getting back to your daily routine and move on to step 2.

Step 2: Resume normal activities, and use added prevention strategies over the next five days, such as taking more steps for cleaner air, enhancing your hygiene practices, wearing a well-fitting mask, keeping a distance from others, and/or getting tested for respiratory viruses. People can choose to use these prevention strategies at any time. Since some people remain contagious beyond the “stay-at-home” period, taking added precautions can lower the chance of spreading respiratory viruses to others.

People who are at higher risk for severe illness who start to feel sick should seek health care right away so that they can access testing and/or treatment. Early treatment for COVID-19 or flu may prevent severe disease in people at higher risk, even if they are up to date with their vaccines.


"The recommendations suggest returning to normal activities when, for at least 24 hours, symptoms are improving overall, and if a fever was present, it has been gone without use of a fever-reducing medication."

"Once people resume normal activities, they are encouraged to take additional prevention strategies for the next 5 days to curb disease spread, such as:

  • taking more steps for cleaner air
  • enhancing hygiene practices
  • wearing a well-fitting mask
  • keeping a distance from others 
  • getting tested for respiratory viruses

"Enhanced precautions are especially important to protect those most at risk for severe illness, including those over 65 and people with weakened immune systems. CDC's updated guidance reflects how the circumstances around COVID-19 in particular have changed. 

 

What are the new CDC isolation guidelines for COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses?

According to CDC:

Updated Guidance:

The updated Respiratory Virus Guidance recommends that people stay home and away from others until at least 24 hours after both their symptoms are getting better overall, and they have not had a fever (and are not using fever-reducing medication). Note that depending on the length of symptoms, this period could be shorter, the same, or longer than the previous guidance for COVID-19.

It is important to note that the guidance doesn’t end with staying home and away from others when sick. The guidance encourages added precaution over the next five days after time at home, away from others, is over. Since some people remain contagious beyond the “stay-at-home” period, a period of added precaution using prevention strategies, such as taking more steps for cleaner air, enhancing hygiene practices, wearing a well-fitting mask, keeping a distance from others, and/or getting tested for respiratory viruses can lower the chance of spreading respiratory viruses to others.

We considered multiple options for adjusting isolation guidance at different lengths of time. In addition to fewer people getting seriously ill from COVID-19 and having better tools to fight serious illness, CDC considered other factors such as the personal and societal costs of extended isolation as well as the timing of when people are most likely to spread the virus (a few days before and after symptoms appear). The updated guidance is easy-to-understand, practical, and evidence-based, as well as more aligned with long-standing recommendations for other respiratory illnesses.

CDC offers separate, specific guidance for healthcare settings (COVID-19, flu, and general infection prevention and control) and Interim Guidance for Managing Healthcare Personnel with SARS-CoV-2 Infection or Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 that is not currently changing.
 

Why is immunization important in preventing respiratory viral illness?

CDC:Immunizations for Respiratory Viruses Prevention

What to know

  • Immunizations are a core prevention strategy to lower risk from respiratory viruses.
  • Core prevention strategies are important steps you can take to protect yourself and others from respiratory viruses.

Immunizations‎
Stay up to date with the immunizations that are recommended for you.

  • For most people that means getting a current flu and COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Adults ages 60 years and older should talk to their healthcare provider about whether an RSV vaccine is right for them.
  • To prevent severe RSV disease in infants, CDC recommends either the pregnant mother gets an RSV vaccine, or the infant gets an immunization with an RSV monoclonal antibody. Most infants will not need both.

How it works
Immunizations help prepare your body to defend itself from viruses and severe illness. Some immunizations teach your immune system what the virus looks like so it can prepare to protect against it. Other immunizations directly provide you with antibodies to protect you from the virus. Getting vaccinated can reduce your chances of getting infected to some degree, but its main strength is preventing severe illness and death. More and more evidence suggests that the COVID-19 vaccine can also lower your chances of developing Long COVID.

Steps you can take

Individuals can:

  • Talk with a healthcare provider to make sure you are up to date on vaccines.
  • Review the vaccine schedule to become familiar with the immunizations recommended for you and when you should get them.
  • Visit www.vaccines.gov to locate flu and COVID-19 vaccines near you.
  • Learn more about how vaccine recommendations are made.
  • Talk to your friends and family about the benefits of getting vaccinated.

Organizations can:

  • Organize vaccination clinics at workplaces. This helps remove obstacles to accessing vaccines.
  • Partner with trusted community members (such as doctors, nurses, health educators, or faith-based and community leaders) and have them attend vaccination events to share accurate information about vaccines.
  • Provide employees with paid time off to get vaccinated and recover from any side effects.

Key times for prevention
All of the prevention strategies described in this guidance can be helpful to reduce risk. They are especially helpful when:

  • Respiratory viruses are causing a lot of illness in your community.
  • You or the people around you were recently exposed to a respiratory virus, are sick, or are recovering.
  • You or the people around you have risk factors for severe illness.

Note: CDC offers separate, specific guidance for healthcare settings (COVID-19, flu, and general infection prevention and control). Federal civil rights laws may require reasonable modifications or reasonable accommodations in various circumstances. Nothing in this guidance is intended to detract from or supersede those laws.

What are the CDC's updated recommendations on wearing masks?

CDC: Masks and Respiratory Viruses Prevention

What to Know
Wearing a mask is an additional prevention strategy that you can choose to further protect yourself and others.

An additional strategy to further protect yourself and others
Wearing a mask can help lower the risk of respiratory virus transmission. When worn by a person with an infection, masks reduce the spread of the virus to others. Masks can also protect wearers from breathing in infectious particles from people around them. Different masks offer different levels of protection. Wearing the most protective one you can comfortably wear for extended periods of time that fits well (completely covering the nose and mouth) is the most effective option.

How it works
Generally, masks can help act as a filter to reduce the number of germs you breathe in or out. Their effectiveness can vary against different viruses, for example, based on the size of the virus. When worn by a person who has a virus, masks can reduce the chances they spread it to others. Masks can also protect wearers from inhaling germs; this type of protection typically comes from better fitting masks (for example, N95 or KN95 respirators).

There are many different types of masks that have varying abilities to block viruses depending on their design and how well they fit against your face. Cloth masks generally offer lower levels of protection to wearers, surgical/disposable masks usually offer more protection, international filtering facepiece respirators (like KN95 respirators) offer even more, and the most protective respirators are NIOSH Approved® filtering facepiece respirators (like N95® respirators).

Steps you can take

Individuals can:

  • When choosing to wear a mask, choose the most protective type you can. Determine how well it fits. Gaps can let air leak in and out. Check for gaps by cupping your hands around the outside edges of the mask. If the mask has a good fit, you will feel warm air come through the front of the mask and may be able to see the mask material move in and out with each breath.
  • Learn about proper technique for wearing an N95 respirator.

Organizations can:

  • Provide free, high-quality masks to your workforce or visitors in times of higher respiratory viral spread.

Key times for prevention
All of the prevention strategies described in this guidance can be helpful to reduce risk. They are especially helpful when:

  • Respiratory viruses are causing a lot of illness in your community.
  • You or the people around you were recently exposed to a respiratory virus, are sick, or are recovering
  • You or the people around you have risk factors for severe illness.

Note: CDC offers separate, specific guidance for healthcare settings (COVID-19, flu, and general infection prevention and control). Federal civil rights laws may require reasonable modifications or reasonable accommodations in various circumstances. Nothing in this guidance is intended to detract from or supersede those laws.

What are the CDC's updated recommendations on testing?

CDC: Testing and Respiratory Viruses

What to Know
Testing is an additional prevention strategy that you can choose to assist in making decisions to further protect yourself and others.

An additional strategy to further protect yourself and others
Testing for respiratory viruses can help you decide what to do next, like getting treatment to reduce your risk of severe illness and taking steps to lower your chances of spreading a virus to others. There are various types of tests for respiratory virus infections. Antigen tests (“self-tests” or “rapid tests”) usually return results quickly (around 15 minutes). PCR tests are normally conducted by a healthcare provider. Although antigen tests are usually faster, they are not as good at detecting viruses as PCR tests. This means that you might get a negative result with an antigen test, but actually be infected with the virus.

How it works
Tests can help you find out if you are currently infected with a certain respiratory virus. While testing doesn’t change how likely you are to catch or spread respiratory viruses, or how severe your illness might be, it can provide useful information to help you make prevention or treatment choices.

Steps you can take

Individuals can:

  • Plan in advance of any illness so you can be ready to get tested quickly, particularly if you are someone who could benefit from treatment for respiratory viruses.
  • Order free COVID-19 antigen tests through the U.S. Postal Service or purchase them from many retailers.
  • Antigen tests can be used for screening before gathering with others, especially to help protect people in your life who have risk factors for severe illness. However, false negatives are possible; false positives are uncommon.

Organizations can:

  • Provide employees with paid time off to seek testing for respiratory viruses, as needed.

Key times for prevention
All of the prevention strategies described in this guidance can be helpful to reduce risk. They are especially helpful when:

  • Respiratory viruses are causing a lot of illness in your community.
  • You or the people around you were recently exposed to a respiratory virus, are sick, or are recovering.
  • You or the people around you have risk factors for severe illness.

Note: CDC offers separate, specific guidance for healthcare settings (COVID-19, flu, and general infection prevention and control). Federal civil rights laws may require reasonable modifications or reasonable accommodations in various circumstances. Nothing in this guidance is intended to detract from or supersede those laws.

What are Long COVID or Post-COVID conditions?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines Long COVID as:

DEFINITION
Long COVID

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 or Post-COVID Conditions (PCC). Long COVID is broadly defined as signs, symptoms, and conditions that continue or develop after initial COVID-19 infection. 

This definition of Long COVID was developed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in collaboration with CDC and other partners.

People call Long COVID by many names, including Post-COVID Conditions, long-haul COVID, post-acute COVID-19, long-term effects of COVID, and chronic COVID. The term post-acute sequelae of SARS CoV-2 infection (PASC) is also used to refer to a subset of Long COVID.

What do you need to know about Post-COVID conditions?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) elaborates on what you need to know about Post-COVID conditions

  • Long COVID can include a wide range of ongoing health problems; these conditions can last weeks, months, or years.
  • Long COVID occurs more often in people who had severe COVID-19 illness, but anyone who has been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 can experience it.
  • People who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 and become infected may have a higher risk of developing Long COVID compared to people who have been vaccinated.
  • People can be reinfected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, multiple times. Each time a person is infected or reinfected with SARS-CoV-2, they have a risk of developing Long COVID.
  • While most people with Long COVID have evidence of infection or COVID-19 illness, in some cases, a person with Long COVID may not have tested positive for the virus or known they were infected.
  • CDC and partners are working to understand more about who experiences Long COVID and why, including whether groups disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 are at higher risk.
What are the symptoms of Long COVID or Post-COVID conditions?

According to the CDC, people with post-COVID conditions (or long COVID) may experience a wide-range of symptoms which can last for more than 4 weeks (or even months) after infection. Some symptoms may go away but come back again. 

“Post-COVID conditions may not affect everyone the same way. People with post-COVID conditions may experience health problems from different types and combinations of symptoms happening over different lengths of time. Most patients’ symptoms slowly improve with time. However, for some people, post-COVID conditions may last months, and potentially years, after COVID-19 illness and may sometimes result in disability.”

The most commonly reported symptoms from people who experience post-COVID conditions are:

General symptoms

  • Tiredness or fatigue that interferes with daily life
  • Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental effort (also known as “post-exertional malaise”)
  • Fever

 

Respiratory and heart symptoms

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations)

 

Neurological symptoms

  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”)
  • Headache
  • Sleep problems
  • Dizziness when you stand up (lightheadedness)
  • Pins-and-needles feelings
  • Change in smell or taste
  • Depression or anxiety

 

Digestive symptoms

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain

 

Other symptoms

  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Rash
  • Changes in menstrual cycles
     
COVID-19 News relevant to myeloma patients and care providers
COVID-19 Latest News and CDC Guidelines

The latest COVID-19 news updates and CDC guidelines for myeloma patients and care providers. 

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