COVID-19: Prevention for People With Weakened Immune Systems


COVID-19 is a disease caused by a type of coronavirus. This illness was first found in December 2019. It has since spread worldwide.

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses. They cause the common cold. They also cause more serious illnesses like Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). COVID-19 is caused by a novel coronavirus. That means it's a new type that has not been seen in people before.

How can you protect yourself?

Follow these guidelines until your doctor tells you it's safe to stop.

  • Get vaccinated, if you haven't already.
  • Talk to your doctor about whether you need an extra vaccine dose.
  • Avoid sick people.
  • Wear a mask if you go into public areas, especially indoor spaces.
  • Avoid crowds, and try to stay 6 feet apart from other people. If you have to be in a crowded area, wear a mask, even if you're outside.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
  • Ask the people you live with or who are in close contact with you to get vaccinated.
  • Ask the people you live with to wear a mask in public areas, even if they're fully vaccinated.

If you think you've been exposed, call your doctor. You may need a COVID-19 test. Your doctor may want to give you medicine that can help prevent COVID-19.

Why is it important to protect yourself?

A weakened immune system makes it more likely that you'll get very sick from COVID-19. And the COVID vaccine may not work as well for you.


Current as of: October 6, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine
Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine