COVID-19 Vaccines for People at Increased Risk for Severe Illness from COVID-19



Adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for and can be administered to most people with underlying medical conditions.

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If you have questions about getting COVID-19 vaccine, you should talk to your healthcare providers for advice. Inform your vaccination provider about all your allergies and health conditions.


People with underlying medical conditions at increased risk from COVID-19

People aged 16 years and older who have underlying medical conditions that increase the risk of serious, life-threatening complications from COVID-19, should be among those offered COVID-19 vaccine first. CDC’s recommendations are based on those of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an independent panel of medical and public health experts.


The list of high-risk medical conditions that put people at increased risk for severe COVID-19-associated illness is updated routinely as new data become available.


Medical Conditions in Adults

  • This list is presented in alphabetical order and not in order of risk.

  • CDC completed an evidence review process for each medical condition on this list to ensure they met criteria for inclusion on this webpage.

  • We are learning more about COVID-19 every day, and this list may be updated as the science evolves.

Cancer

Having cancer can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. Treatments for many types of cancer can weaken your body’s ability to fight off disease. At this time, based on available studies, having a history of cancer may increase your risk.

Get more information:

  • Cancer | CDC

  • American Cancer Society: What People with Cancer Should Know about Coronavirusexternal icon

Chronic kidney disease

Having chronic kidney disease of any stage can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

Get more information:

  • Chronic kidney disease | CDC

  • National Kidney Foundation: Kidney disease and COVID-19external icon

Chronic lung diseases, including COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate-to-severe), interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary hypertension

Chronic lung diseases can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. These diseases may include:

  • Asthma, if it’s moderate to severe

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and chronic bronchitis

  • Having damaged or scarred lung tissue such as interstitial lung disease (including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis)

  • Cystic fibrosis, with or without lung or other solid organ transplant

  • Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs)

Get more information:

  • COPD | CDC

  • Asthma | CDC

  • American Lung Association: Controlling Chronic Lung Diseases Amid COVID-19 external icon

Dementia or other neurological conditions

Having neurological conditions, such as dementia, can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

Get more information:

  • Dementia | CDC

  • Alzheimer’s Association: COVID-19, Alzheimer’s and Dementia external icon

Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)

Having either type 1 or type 2 diabetes can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

Get more information:

  • Diabetes | CDC

  • American Diabetes Association: How COVID-19 Impacts People with Diabetesexternal icon

Down syndrome

Having Down syndrome can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

Get more information:

  • Down syndrome | CDC

  • National Down Syndrome Society: COVID-19 and Down Syndromeexternal icon

Heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies or hypertension)

Having heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, and possibly high blood pressure (hypertension) can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

Get more information:

  • Heart Disease | CDC

  • COVID-19 | American Heart Associationexternal icon

HIV infection

Having HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

Get more information:

  • HIV Infection | CDC

  • National Institutes of Health: Special Considerations in People With HIV infectionexternal icon

Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system)

Having a weakened immune system can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. Many conditions and treatments can cause a person to be immunocompromised or have a weakened immune system. Primary immunodeficiency is caused by genetic defects that can be inherited. Prolonged use of corticosteroids or other immune weakening medicines can lead to secondary or acquired immunodeficiency.

Get more information:

  • Types of Primary Immune Deficiency Diseasesexternal icon

  • The Jeffrey Modell Foundationexternal icon

  • Immune Deficiency Foundationexternal icon

Liver disease

Having chronic liver disease, such as alcohol-related liver disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and especially cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

Get more information:

  • Liver Disease | NIDDK (nih.gov)external icon

  • American Liver Foundation: Your Liver & COVID-19external icon

Overweight and obesity

Overweight (defined as a body mass index (BMI) > 25 kg/m2 but < 30 kg/m2), obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m2 but < 40 kg/m2), or severe obesity (BMI of ≥40 kg/m2), can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. The risk of severe COVID-19 illness increases sharply with elevated BMI.

Get more information:

  • Obesity | CDC

  • Obesity, Race/Ethnicity, and COVID-19 | CDC

  • Obesity Action Coalition: COVID-19 and Obesityexternal icon

Pregnancy

Pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people.

Get more information:

  • Pregnant People | CDC

  • Toolkit for Pregnant People and New Parents | CDC

  • Investigating the Impact of COVID-19 during Pregnancy | CDC

Sickle cell disease or thalassemia

Having hemoglobin blood disorders like sickle cell disease (SCD) or thalassemia can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

Get more information:

  • Sickle Cell Disease | CDC

  • Thalassemia | CDC

Smoking, current or former

Being a current or former cigarette smoker can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. If you currently smoke, quit. If you used to smoke, don’t start again. If you’ve never smoked, don’t start.

Get more information:

  • Smoking & Tobacco Use | CDC

  • How to Quit Smoking | Quit Smoking | Tips From Former Smokers | CDC

  • Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking | CDC

Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant

Having had a solid organ or blood stem cell transplant, which includes bone marrow transplants, can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

Get more information:

  • Transplant Safety | CDC

  • COVID-19 Resources for Transplant Communityexternal icon

Stroke or cerebrovascular disease, which affects blood flow to the brain

Having cerebrovascular disease, such as having a stroke, can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

Get more information:

  • Stroke | CDC

  • COVID19 Stroke Podcast Series for Patients and Caregivers external icon

Substance use disorders

Having a substance use disorder (such as alcohol, opioid, or cocaine use disorder) can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

Get more information:

  • How to Recognize a Substance Use Disorderexternal icon

  • Learn more about people who use drugs or have Substance Use Disorder and COVID-19

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