COVID-19 Information for You
The COVID-19 pandemic has created some confusion in our daily lives and has made it hard to know how to keep you and your family safe. This page is here to help you and your family feel confident that you are being safe and making healthy choices.
To access the full COVID-19 Toolkit, please visit the National Hispanic Health Foundation’s website.
Who is most at risk for COVID-19?
- Older adults (aged 65 and older)
- Pregnant and recently pregnant people3
- People with certain medical conditions, such as:
- Cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung diseases, dementia or other neurological conditions, diabetes, Down syndrome, heart conditions, HIV, immunocompromised state, liver disease, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease or thalassemia, smoking, recipients of a solid organ or blood stem cell transplant, and stroke or cerebrovascular disease, substance use disorders4
There is so much information going around about COVID-19, and this makes it hard for you to know what is true and what is a myth. When we get our information from sources that are not reliable, this can lead us to be more afraid and to make choices that are not in the best interest of our own health. Let’s take a look at some of the common myths that have been going around about COVID-19 and see what the facts are!
MYTH: The COVID-19 vaccine will alter my DNA.
FACT: COVID-19 vaccines do not interact with DNA.6
MYTH: The CDC can force me to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
FACT: The government does not require vaccinations. However, state and local governments as well as employers may require vaccinations for specific purposes.6
MYTH: I can test positive for viral COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine.
FACT: COVID-19 vaccines do not cause recipients to test positive on any viral tests.6
MYTH: The COVID-19 vaccine can make me sick with COVID-19.
FACT: None of the emergency authorized vaccines use a live virus. Some people may feel symptoms after receiving the vaccine, but these are due to your body’s response to the vaccine as it builds fighter cells called antibodies. Any sickness that you may feel is likely due to your body making fighter cells, and they are not COVID-19 symptoms.6
MYTH: It’s unsafe to get a vaccine if I want to have a baby in the future.
FACT: There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines cause any problems with pregnancy. In fact, the same number of women have been able to get pregnant after getting a COVID-19 shot when compared to women who have not had the shot at all.6
MYTH: Alcohol-based sanitizers aren’t safe for everyone’s use.
FACT: Alcohol sanitizers have NOT been shown to create any relevant health issues when used properly.7
MYTH: Touching a communal bottle of alcohol-based sanitizer can infect me.
FACT: Once you’ve sanitized your hands, you have disinfected them from any germs that may have been present on the bottle.
MYTH: The extended use of medical masks can cause oxygen deficiency.
FACT: When used properly, masks do not cause a decrease in oxygen level.
Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines (CDC)
What we do and don’t know about COVID-19 vaccines.
Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines (CDC)
Before considering vaccine information on the Internet, check that the information comes from a credible source and is updated on a regular basis.
VIDEO: Myths and Facts About COVID-19
VIDEO: COVID-19 Vaccine Myths vs. Facts with Dr. Mark Shalauta
VIDEO: Myths and Facts around the COVID-19 Vaccine (Spanish)
What is a variant?
A variant is a strain of the virus which has changed through mutation. Sometimes new variants emerge and then disappear, and other times they persist. New variants are expected to occur.9
Are these variants more dangerous?
Some variants spread more easily and quickly than others, which could lead to an increase in cases. An increase in the number of cases will put more strain on healthcare resources, lead to more hospitalizations, and potentially more deaths.9
Do COVID-19 shots protect against the COVID-19 variants?
Currently authorized vaccines are effective against all variants of concern in the U.S. All vaccines are particularly effective against severe illness, hospitalization and death.9
People with COVID-19 can feel not sick at all to very sick. People might start to feel sick 2 to 14 days after they have been around someone with COVID-19. People who get sick with COVID-19 might feel:
People with COVID-19 may have the following symptoms:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
If you have been vaccinated:
Unless you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after exposure, even if they don’t feel sick. If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 but have don’t feel sick, you should still wear a mask indoors in public for 10 days following exposure and get tested after 5 days.12
If you have not been vaccinated:
Quarantine if you have been in close contact (within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19.
- If possible, stay away from people you live with, especially people who are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.
- If you start to feel sick, stay home and away from other people for at least 5 days.12
Who should get tested
The following people should get tested for COVID-19:
- People who have symptoms of COVID-19.
- People who have had a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
- People who are fully vaccinated should get tested 3-5 days after exposure.
- People not fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine who have been asked or referred to get testing by their school, workplace, healthcare provider, state, tribal, local or territorial health department.15
What to do if you test positive for COVID-19
- Stay home, unless you feel too sick and need to go to the hospital
- Get lots of rest and drink plenty of water
- Call your doctor, health clinic, or local urgent care if you have any questions
- If possible, stay in a private room as to avoid passing COVID-19 to family, friends, or roommates
Help fight Medicare fraud
Medicare covers the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to you, so if anyone asks you to share your Medicare Number or pay for access to the vaccine, you can bet it’s a scam.
Resources for Undocumented Immigrants
Nationwide and state-level resources for undocumented people.
Protect yourself financially from the impact of the coronavirus (CFPB)
You can take steps to help protect yourself or a loved one from the financial impact of the coronavirus.
Career OneStop Unemployment Benefits Finder (Department of Labor)
Learn how to file for unemployment benefits in your state.
COVID-19 guidance & resources for small businesses
SBA offers several relief options to help businesses, nonprofits, and faith-based organizations recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
VIDEO: Coronavirus/COVID-19 (Spanish)
VIDEO: What to expect if you're diagnosed with COVID-19
VIDEO: Quarantine After COVID Exposure - Spanish
Where to get the Vaccine
Visit vaccine.gov for updates on vaccine distribution. Vaccines are being offered at many local health centers and private pharmacies.
- Rite Aid
- Walmart Pharmacies
The full list of participating pharmacies is available on the CDC’s website.
What are the benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccine?
- COVID-19 vaccines can protect you from getting the COVID-19 virus
- COVID-19 vaccines help prevent serious illness even if you do contract COVID-19
- Getting vaccinated protects people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness
- COVID-19 vaccinations provide strong boosts in protection if you have recovered from COVID-195
- mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine that protects against infectious diseases.
- mRNA vaccines teach our bodies how to make fighters cells to protect against getting really sick
- Researchers have been studying and working with mRNA vaccines for decades, to help fight the flu, Zika, rabies, and cytomegalovirus (CMV). 10
Possible Side Effects for All Shots
Side effects are a result of your body’s immune response in an attempt to create antibodies. Side effects are NOT due to infection of COVID-19. After the second shot, symptoms may be worse. Call your doctor if redness or tenderness of injection site after worsens after 24 hours, or if side effects are concerning and are not going away after a few days.
Side effects in the arm:
Side effects throughout the body:
- Muscle pain
After vaccination, you should apply a wet, cool compress to the injection site, move/use your arm often, drink fluids, and monitor how you are feeling.13
I Want to Know Why the J&J Vaccine Was Paused, Is It Safe?
The CDC and U.S. FDA recommend the emergency use of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) shot. The vaccine has resumed use in the U.S. after a temporary pause.14
Why were J&J vaccinations paused?
A rare but serious issue was found to cause blood clots in large blood vessels and low platelets.
Why did the pause end?
The risks for dying and having blood clots is much higher for people who get sick with COVID-19.
Who should watch out for blood clots when getting the J&J vaccine?
As of January 20, 2022, more than 18.0 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been given in the USA. CDC and FDA found 57 confirmed reports of people who had this issue after getting the J&J vaccine.
COVID-19: Vacunas (Español)
How mRNA Vaccines Work – Simply Explained
Vaxx Facts: Should You Get the COVID-19 Vaccine if You’ve Already Had COVID-19?
Treatments used for COVID-19 should be prescribed by your healthcare provider. People have been seriously harmed and even died after taking products not approved for use to treat or prevent COVID-19, even products approved or prescribed for other uses. Talk to your healthcare provider about what option may be best for you.18
Treatments can be used for different reasons, depending on how sick a person is. Treatments are meant to:
- Slow the virus
- Antiviral medicine slows down the spread through the patient’s body.
- Stop the person from getting very sick
- In patients who get very sick with COVID-19, the body’s immune system may overreact to the threat of the virus and do more harm than good. Some medicines can help stop this from happening.
- Treat complications
- COVID-19 can damage the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, and intestines. It also can cause other complications. Some medicine might be able to help protect those other parts of the body.
Have symptoms, but no healthcare provider? Call the Combat COVID Monoclonal Antibodies Call Center at 1-877-332-6585.
Monoclonal Antibody Treatment
What are Monoclonal Antibodies?
Our bodies naturally make antibodies to fight infection. Monoclonal Antibodies are made in a lab and given to people directly through an IV to go into the bloodstream directly.
How do Monoclonal Antibodies help people?
Monoclonal Antibody treatments may help people who are at high risk for serious symptoms of the disease to:
- Reduce the likelihood of staying in the hospital.
- Recover faster from COVID-19.
Who can receive Monoclonal Antibody treatment?
- People who are at high risk of becoming seriously ill. Please ask a doctor if you are at high risk.
- People who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have mild to moderate symptoms of the disease for 10 days or less
- People who have been recently exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and are at high risk for serious COVID-19
What if you do not qualify for Monoclonal Antibody treatment?
- Your healthcare professional may decide you do not qualify for Monoclonal Antibody treatment. There could be several reasons for this. You may not meet all of the eligibility criteria or you may have an underlying health condition that disqualifies you.
- Whatever the reason is, do not give up. There may be other treatment options available such as antivirals.
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