People at increased risk of severe illness — who are more likely to require hospitalization if they get COVID-19 — need to be especially careful. If you are at increased risk for severe illness, treatment is available. If you are moderately or severely immunocompromised or unable to get vaccinated because you are allergic to the vaccine, talk to your doctor about Evusheld — an injectable drug that increases your protection against COVID-19.
Among adults, the risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age, with older adults at highest risk. For example, people in their 50s are at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 40s. Similarly, people in their 60s or 70s are, in general, at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 50s.
People of any age with the underlying health conditions identified by the CDC are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19:
Get tested right away if you have symptoms or were recently exposed to someone with COVID-19. If you test positive, seek care immediately. Treatment works best the sooner you begin.
Long-standing systemic health and social inequities — such as in education, employment, housing and health care access — have put people from some racial and ethnic groups (including Black, Latino and Indigenous people) at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19.
Studies have shown that people from some racial and ethnic groups are dying from COVID-19 at younger ages. People of color are often younger when they develop chronic medical conditions and may be more likely to have more than one condition.