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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 October 18, 2023)

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?

If you are moderately or severely immunocompromised (have a weakened immune system), you are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness and death. Additionally, your immune response to COVID-19 vaccination may not be as strong as in people who are not immunocompromised.

People who are aged 6 months and older and are moderately or severely immunocompromised needs at least least one dose of a 2023-2024 updated COVID-19 vaccine.

 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 January 18, 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 the updated COVID-19 vaccine to protect against serious illness from COVID-19.
  • People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may get additional doses of updated COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 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.
  • 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?

Everyone aged 5 years and older
You are up to date when you get (1) 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.

Children aged 6 months-5 years who got the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
You are up to date when you get 2 Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses, including at least (1) updated COVID-19 vaccine dose.

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 who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may get 1 additional dose of updated COVID-19 vaccine 2 or more months after the last updated COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your healthcare provider about additional updated doses.

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 11/2023) 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. 

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. 

Paxlovid is available in 2 Dose Packs. Your healthcare provider will prescribe the Paxlovid Dose Pack that is right for you. 

  • 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? What about expiration dates?

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.

The FDA has extended the expiration date (shelf-llfe) for some lots of Paxlovid. To find the extended expiration date, enter the lot number found on the side of carton or bottom of blister pack at this website: https://www.paxlovidlotexpiry.com/ or talk with your healthcare provider. 

Information on the authorized shelf-life extensions for Paxlovid may also be found at https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/mcm-legal-regulatory-and-policy-framework/expiration-dating-extension.

About COVID-19

General questions about COVID-19

Answers to common questions about the COVID-19 pandemic, including information about CDC COVID-19 guidance, symptoms and risk factors, prevention and self-care, and COVID-19 testing. (Isolation and Precautions updated as of 5/11/2023).

 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

According to a 10/26/22 CDC update:

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.

Possible symptoms 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 possible symptoms. Symptoms may change with new COVID-19 variants and can vary depending on vaccination status. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19. Older adults and people who have underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.

 

What should I do when I feel sick?

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consider the following options:

  • Get tested for COVID-19
  • If you have already tested positive for COVID-19, learn more about CDC’s isolation guidance

 

When should I seek emergency medical attention?

Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID 19:

  • 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

If someone is showing any of these signs, 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.

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

Can I get reinfected with COVID-19?

The CDC has updated information on reinfections and COVID-19.

According to the CDC:

Reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 means a person was infected, recovered, and then later became infected again. After recovering from COVID-19, most individuals will have some protection from repeat infections. However, reinfections do occur after COVID-19. We are still learning more about these reinfections. Ongoing studies of COVID-19 are helping the CDC understand:

  • How often reinfections occur
  • Who is at higher risk of reinfection
  • How soon reinfections take place after a previous infection
  • The severity (how serious the infection is) of reinfections compared with initial (the first) infections
  • The risk of transmission to others after reinfection
What are the factors that can raise the risk of getting very sick with COVID-19?

Age

Adults aged 50 and older are more likely to get very sick when infected with COVID-19 which means they are more likely to require hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator.

Immunocompromised or a Weakened Immune System

Immunocompromised individuals are more susceptible to getting very sick from COVID-19, even if up to date on vaccines. 

Underlying Health Conditions

Certain underlying health conditions (e.g., obesity, COPD, heart disease, etc.) can increase the risk of having severe symptoms from COVID-19. The more underlying health conditions, the higher the risk.

What are the factors that lower or increase risk of transmission?

Length of Exposure Time

The longer the time you are exposed to COVID-19, the higher the risk of transmission. For example, being exposed to someone with COVID-19 for two minutes poses a lower risk as compared to 15 minutes. 

 

Coughing or Heavy Breathing by the Infected Person

If the individual infected with COVID-19 is coughing or breathing heavily, singing, or shouting the risk of transmission increases. 

 

Infected Person Exhibiting Symptoms

Being exposed to a symptomatic person infected with COVID-19 increases the risk of transmission.

 

One-way or Two-way Masking

  • If both persons are not wearing masks, the risk of transmission is higher.
  • If one person is wearing a mask, the risk of transmission is moderate.
  • If both persons are wearing masks, the risk is substantially lower. 

Risk is also lower if the mask or respirator provides greater protection, such as an N95 mask.  

 

Ventilation and Filtration

Staying outdoors decreases the risk of transmission as compared to being indoors (even with good ventilation and filtration). Being indoors with poor ventilation and filtration poses the highest risk of transmission.

 

Distancing

Proper distance decreases the risk of transmission. Avoid crowded settings as it raises the likelihood of getting infected.

 

What are the factors that can provide protection from severe COVID-19?

Vaccination

To protect yourself and those around you from getting very sick, being hospitalized, or dying from COVID-19, stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccines—they are proven to be safe and effective. Boosters provide additional protection or can help enhance or restore protection that has diminished over time. However, while vaccines can reduce the risk, older adults with multiple underlying health conditions or those who are immunocompromised can still get very sick from COVID-19.

Timely Testing and Treatment

Free medications are available for those who are at an increased risk of getting severe symptoms from COVID-19. Getting tested quickly is imperative as most treatments need to be started within a few days of infection. Preparing a COVID-19 plan also helps, in case you are diagnosed with COVID-19. 

Previous Infection

If you were previously infected with COVID-19, it provides some level of protection from future illness. However, it is possible to still be reinfected or to get severe COVID-19, especially if your previous infection was from a different variant (e.g. Delta vs omicron). There are also risks of being repeatedly infected, including the potential of longer term symptoms or development of post-COVID conditions.

Studies show that vaccinated people with previous infections are less likely to be hospitalized than those who were previously infected but are unvaccinated. Get vaccinated and boosted even if you have had a previous infection to increase protection against COVID-19. 

What should I do if I was exposed to COVID-19?

If you tested positive or are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, isolate immediately.

If you were exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 or have been advised by a healthcare provider or public health authority that you were exposed, do the following steps regardless of vaccination status or whether you had a previous infection. 

After Being Exposed to COVID-19

Start Precautions Immediately
Wear a mask as soon as you find out you were exposed

Start counting from Day 1

  • Day 0 is the day of your last exposure to someone with COVID-19
  • Day 1 is the first full day after your last exposure

Continue Exercising Precautions for 10 Full Days
You can still develop COVID-19 up to 10 days after you have been exposed.

Take Precautions

  • Wear a high-quality mask or respirator (e.g., N95) any time you are around others inside your home or indoors in public*
  • Do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask, including travel and public transportation settings.
  • Take extra precautions if you will be around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.

Watch for symptoms

  • fever (100.4°F or greater)
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • other COVID-19 symptoms


If you develop symptoms:

  • isolate immediately
  • get tested
  • stay home until you know the result

If your test result is positive, follow the isolation recommendations.

Get tested on Day 6
Get tested at least 5 full days after your last exposure. Test even if you don’t develop symptoms.

If you already had COVID-19 within the past 90 days, see specific testing recommendations

If you test negative**

  • Continue taking precautions through Day 10
  • Wear a high-quality mask when around others at home and indoors in public*. You can still develop COVID-19 up to 10 days after you have been exposed.

If you test positive
Isolate immediately


[* Masks are not recommended for children under ages 2 years and younger, or for people with some disabilities. Other prevention actions (such as improving ventilation) should be used to avoid transmission during these 10 days.]

[** As noted in the Food and Drug Administration labeling for authorized over-the-counter antigen tests, negative test results do not rule out SARS-CoV-2 infection and should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or patient management decisions, including infection control decisions.]
 

When should I get tested for COVID-19?

Key times to get tested:

  • If you have symptoms, test immediately.
  • If you were exposed to COVID-19 and do not have symptoms, wait at least 5 full days after your exposure before testing. If you test too early, you may be more likely to get an inaccurate result.
  • If you are in certain high-risk settings, you may need to test as part of a screening testing program.
  • Consider testing before contact with someone at high risk for severe COVID-19, especially if you are in an area with a medium or high COVID-19 Community Level.

For guidance on using tests to determine which mitigations are recommended as you recover from COVID-19, go to Isolation and Precautions for People with COVID-19.

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
     
Should I keep wearing a mask?

According to a CDC update on May 11, 2023, wearing a mask with the best fit, protection, and comfort is still advisable to best protect yourself from COVID-19.

When to Wear a Mask or Respirator

Layered prevention strategies — like staying up to date on vaccines and wearing masks — can help prevent severe illness and reduce the potential for strain on the healthcare system. Wear a mask with the best fit, protection, and comfort for you.

Know the COVID-19 Hospital Admission Level In Your Area

  • At all COVID-19 Hospital Admission Levels: People may choose to mask at any time.
  • Medium or High: If you are at high risk for getting very sick, wear a high-quality mask or respirator. If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk getting very sick, consider self-testing to detect infection before contact and consider wearing a mask when indoors with them
  • High: Wear a high-quality mask or respirator; If you are a high risk for getting sick, consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed.

Considerations for Specific Groups of People

People at higher risk for severe illness

Some people are more likely to become very sick with COVID-19

  • People who are older
  • People with certain medical conditions
  • Pregnant and recently pregnant people

People at increased risk, and those who love with or visit them, should

  • Talk to their healthcare provider about whether they and the people around them should wear a mask or respirator when the COVID-19 hospital admission level is medium.  
  • Wear a mask or respirator that provides them with greater protection when the COVID-19 hospital admission level is high. 

 

Children

Children ages 2 years and older can wear masks or respirators to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

Choose a high-quality and comfortable mask or respirator that your child can wear properly. A poorly fitting or uncomfortable mask or respirator might be worn incorrectly or removed often, and that would reduce its intended benefits.

  • Choose a size that fits over the child’s nose and under the chin but does not impair vision.
  • Follow the user instructions for the mask or respirator. These instructions may show how to make sure the product fits properly.
  • Some types of masks and respirators may feel different if your child is used to wearing cloth or disposable procedure masks.

Parents and caregivers may have questions about NIOSH-approved respirators (such as N95s), and international respirators (such as KN95s and KF94s) for children. Although respirators may be available in smaller sizes, they are typically designed to be used by adults in workplaces, and therefore may not have been tested for broad use in children.

 

Safety Precautions

  • If your child has a medical condition, such as a heart or lung problem, ask their healthcare provider before they use methods to improve mask fit or use an ASTM F3502 mask or a respirator.
  • If your child has a hard time breathing, gets dizzy, or has other symptoms while you are trying to get the mask to fit better or when using an ASTM F3502 mask or a respirator, choose a cloth or disposable mask. They should continue to protect themselves and others. Consult your healthcare provider if these symptoms do not resolve.
     

People with Disabilities

Certain groups of people may find it difficult to wear a mask, including people of any age with certain disabilities.

Challenges may be caused by being sensitive to materials on the face, difficulty understanding the importance of mask wearing for protection, or having difficulty controlling behavior to keep the mask in place.

People with certain disabilities or their caregivers can assess whether they need to wear a mask. They should do this by considering the person’s ability to:

  • Wear a mask correctly (proper mask size and fit)
  • Avoid frequent touching of the mask and face
  • Limit sucking, drooling, or having excess saliva on the mask
  • Remove the mask without assistance

People who are deaf or hard of hearing

These individuals may consider:

  • Wearing a clear mask or a cloth mask with a clear panel
  • If a clear mask is not available, using written communication, closed captioning, or decreasing background noise to make communication possible while wearing a mask that blocks lips

Travelers

Wearing a high-quality mask while you travel can help protect you and others.

Learn about the latest recommendation for wearing masks during travel.

Should I wear a mask in travel and public transportation settings?

According to the CDC:

Masking During Travel
Respiratory infections are a leading cause for seeking medical care among returning travelers. Common respiratory infections include COVID-19, influenza, and the common cold. Masking is a critical public health tool for preventing the spread of respiratory diseases. When people properly wear a high-quality mask or respirator, they protect themselves and those around them, and help keep travel safer for everyone.

When is masking most useful?
Wearing a high-quality mask or respirator is most beneficial when:

  • You are in crowded or tight spaces with poor ventilation like airport jetways, airplanes when the ventilation system is off, seaports, or when in close-contact situations like on a train or bus.
  • There are high levels of respiratory disease at your travel destination or in the community you are traveling through.
  • You or someone you have close contact with has a weakened immune system or are at increased risk for severe illness.
  • You are sick or experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness (although it is better to delay travel if you are sick).
  • You were exposed to a person with COVID-19 in the last 10 days.

Why should I wear a mask when traveling if I don’t usually wear one in my community?

  • Traveling can bring you in contact with people from many different places where viruses are spreading, including different COVID-19 variants and other viruses.
  • Using public transportation and being in transportation hubs such as airports, can involve spending long periods of time in areas that may be crowded or poorly ventilated. This increases your chance of exposure to respiratory diseases.
  • Wearing a mask during travel can also help protect others who cannot avoid being in crowded places when they are traveling. Some of these people might be more vulnerable, like babies under 6 months of age, persons over 65 years of age, or those with a weakened immune system.
What if I have the sniffles?

Remember that COVID-19 is not the only virus floating around and infecting people. 30,000 Americans die from the flu virus during a typical season, and most are elderly people or are immunocompromised. To avoid transmitting any kind of virus if you’re feeling sick, either stay home or if you must go outside, wear a mask. 

What type of mask should I wear? 

For the best protection, high-quality masks are still advised by experts, even if you’re one-way masking. N95, KN95 and KF94 masks provide the best protection — just make sure that you’re not buying counterfeit ones. Cloth masks don’t provide as much protection while surgical masks often gape. 

What is a Self-Test or At-Home Test?

Self-tests or at-home tests can be taken regardless of your vaccination status or whether you’re experiencing symptoms or not. Self-tests and at-home tests can be taken anywhere and give results in minutes, unlike laboratory-based tests which may take days. However, self-tests and at-home tests cannot detect antibodies (which may suggest a previous infection). They are also unable to measure immunity levels. 

When should I take a COVID-19 Self-Test or At-Home Test?

If you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, a self-test or at-home test should be taken immediately. 

If you are attending an indoor event or gathering, you are advised to take a self-test or at-home test immediately, or as close to the date or time of the event as possible, especially if you’re attending a gathering with unvaccinated young children, older adults, immunocompromised individuals, individuals at risk of severe disease or those who are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. 

Where can I get a Self-Test or At-Home Test for COVID-19?

According to COVID.gov: Ordering for free COVID-19 tests via the website will be suspended after Wednesday, May 31, 2023. Ordering will close at 11:59pm PDT on that day. All orders placed before 11:59pm PDT, on May 31 will be delivered.

The COVIDtests.gov program has distributed over 755 million tests directly to more than two-thirds of American households, 310 million of which went to households in underserved communities. The U.S. government will continue to make COVID-19 tests available to uninsured individuals and underserved communities through existing outreach programs. Please contact a HRSA health center, Test to Treat site, or ICATT location near you to learn how to access low- or no-cost COVID-19 tests provided by the federal government.

COVID-19 self-tests and at-home tests may also be purchased online, or in retail stores and pharmacies. For a list of authorized tests, visit FDA.gov.

How do I use a Self-Test or At-Home COVID-19 test?

Before using a self-test or at-home COVID-19 test, make sure to read the complete manufacturer’s instructions to get an accurate result. Wash your hands before doing the test, collect a nasal specimen, then do the test. 

What do the COVID-19 test results mean?

If you test POSITIVE for COVID-19, it means the test has detected the virus and that you have an infection. You are advised to:

-    Stay home for at least 5 days and isolate from other members of your household. 
-    Inform your close contacts about your positive result
-    Wear a well-fitting mask (a N95 or KN95 respirator is recommended), especially when around others.
-    Watch out for symptoms and emergency warning signs
-    Seek emergency medical attention if you experience the following:

  • trouble breathing
  • persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • new confusion
  • inability to wake or stay awake
  • pale, grayish, or bluish skin, lips, or nail beds

If you test NEGATIVE for COVID-19, it means the test did not detect the virus. However, it does not rule out the possibility of an infection. Some tests are designed to be taken as a series. You may repeat the test 24 to 48 hours later. Multiple negative tests give the assurance that you do not have an infection.
 

How do I go about the isolation process if I get infected with COVID-19?

When to Isolate

Regardless of vaccination status, you should isolate from others when you have COVID-19.

You should also isolate if you are sick and suspect that you have COVID-19 but do not yet have test results. If your results are positive, follow the full isolation recommendations below. If your results are negative, you can end your isolation.

When you have COVID-19, isolation is counted in days as follows:

If you had no symptoms

  • Day 0 is the day you were tested (not the day you received your positive test result)
  • Day 1 is the first full day following the day you were tested
  • If you develop symptoms within 10 days of when you were tested, the clock restarts at day 0 on the day of symptom onset.

If you had symptoms

  • Day 0 of isolation is the day of symptom onset, regardless of when you tested positive
  • Day 1 is the first full day after the day your symptoms started

Isolation

If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home for at least 5 days and isolate from others in your home.

You are likely most infectious during these first 5 days.

  • Wear a high-quality mask if you must be around others at home and in public.
  • Do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask. 
  • Do not travel.
  • Stay home and separate from others as much as possible.
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Take steps to improve ventilation at home, if possible.
  • Don't share personal household items like cups, towels, and utensils.
  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (like trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.

Ending Isolation

End isolation based on how serious your COVID-19 symptoms were. Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation.

If you had no symptoms, you may end isolation after day 5.

If you had symptoms and:

  • Your symptoms are improving: You may end isolation after day 5 if you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication)
  • Your symptoms are not improving: Continue to isolate until you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and your symptoms are improving.
  • You had moderate illness (you experienced shortness of breath or had difficulty breathing), you need to isolate through Day 10.
  • You had severe illness (you were hospitalized or have a weakened immune system: You need to isolate through day 10; Consult your doctor before ending isolation; Ending isolation without a viral test may not be an option for you.

If you are unsure if your symptoms are moderate or severe or if you have a weakened immune system, talk to a healthcare provider for further guidance.

 

Regardless of when you end isolation 

Until at least Day 11:

  • Avoid being around people who are most likely to get very sick from COVID-19.
  • Remember to wear a high-quality mask when indoors around others at home and in public.
  • Do not go places where you are unable to wear a mask until you are able to discontinue masking
  • For travel guidance, see CDC's Travel webpage
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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