Asthma

COVID-19 (New Coronavirus)

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Visit our blog to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines.


In December 2019, a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) started spreading. It can cause an illness called COVID-19. Some people may have mild symptoms, while some may have complications, like severe pneumonia.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), common COVID-19 symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Feeling tired and weak
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting

Other symptoms reported are:

  • Pinkeye
  • Painful blue or purple lesions (such as a sore or bruise) on toes (COVID toes)
  • Hives or rashes

If you have these emergency warning signs, call 911 or go to the emergency room immediately:

  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest that doesn’t go away
  • Newly confused
  • Can’t wake up or stay awake
  • Cyanosis which is tissue color changes on mucus membranes (like tongue, lips, and around the eyes) and fingertips or nail beds – the color appears grayish or whitish on darker skin tones and bluish on lighter skin tones

This list may not include all symptoms. Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after coming in contact with the virus. If you have any symptoms that are severe or concerning, call your doctor.

How Can I Tell the Difference Between Asthma, COVID-19 (New Coronavirus), the Flu, a Cold, or Seasonal Allergies?

There are some symptoms that are similar between these respiratory illnesses and asthma. This chart can help you figure out if you may be feeling symptoms of asthma, allergies, or a respiratory illness like COVID-19, the flu, or a cold. If you have a fever and a cough, call your doctor right away. If you have seasonal allergies, there are things you can do to treat at home.

Information is still changing. We will update this chart as new evidence comes out.

What Do I Need to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Everyone 12 years and older can get the COVID-19 vaccines for free with no out-of-pocket costs in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, called Comirnaty [koe-MIR-nah-tee], for ages 16 and older. The FDA has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use for ages 12-15. The FDA has authorized the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (made by Janssen) COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use for ages 18 and older.

The vaccine reduces the chance of getting COVID-19. It can also reduce the severity of your symptoms if you get the disease.

You are fully vaccinated two weeks after getting your second Pfizer or Moderna shot or two weeks after getting one Johnson & Johnson shot. The CDC recommends that everyone in areas of high transmission wear a mask in public indoor places, even if they are fully vaccinated. 

Even if you are fully vaccinated, continue following CDC guidelines. Stay home as much as possible and wear a face mask. Keep physical distance and wash your hands to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

You are still required to wear face masks on public transportation, such as planes, buses, and trains. Hospitals, airports, train and bus stations, homeless shelters, and prisons still require everyone to wear masks.

Most people can get the COVID-19 vaccines with no issues. Allergic and adverse reactions are rare.

Talk with your doctor before you get a COVID-19 vaccine if you have a:

  • Moderate or acute (short-term) illness
  • Current case of COVID-19
  • History of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) to a vaccine (not including COVID-19 vaccines) or injectable medicine
  • History of a severe or immediate allergic reaction to previous dose or any ingredient (also called “excipients” or “components”) of a COVID-19 vaccine
  • History of an allergic reaction to PEG or polysorbate


vaccine guidelines

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Medical Review: June 2021 by Mitchell Grayson, MD. Updated September 2021.

COVID-19 Resource Center

How Does COVID-19 Affect People With Asthma and Allergies?

As COVID-19 increasingly impacts the U.S., you may wonder what that means for people with asthma and allergies. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has put together some educational resources and tips to help you stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know: This blog post gives general information on COVID-19. It has the latest guidance from the CDC and helps people with asthma understand their risk, prevention, and what to do if you catch it.

The COVID-19 Vaccine: The Latest Information for People With Asthma and Allergies: COVID-19 vaccines are now being given in phases throughout the U.S. Many people have had concerns about allergic reactions to the vaccines. Read about who can get the vaccines and watch a video Q&A with members of our Medical Scientific Council about what people with allergies need to know.

Managing Asthma at School During the COVID-19 Pandemic – AAFA’s COVID-19 and Asthma Toolkit for Schools: Schools face new challenges if trying to teach in person while preventing the spread of the new coronavirus. Tactics to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 may impact staff and students with asthma. AAFA has created a COVID-19 and Asthma Toolkit for Schools to provide supplemental guidance to assist schools as they develop their policies and procedures.

What People With Asthma Need to Know About Face Masks During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Face masks are an important part of protecting ourselves and others against the new coronavirus. But how do face masks affect people with asthma? What are the best options for people with asthma, especially if your job requires them? We answer many of the questions you may have concerning asthma and face masks.

Wearing a Face Mask to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19 Does Not Affect Oxygen Levels: According to research presented at the 2021 AAAAI Virtual Annual Meeting, which took place Feb. 26-March 1, 2021, wearing a face mask can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and does not impact oxygen saturation.

Please Don’t Stop Taking Your Asthma Medicines Due to the Coronavirus – a guest blog post from Dr. Mitchell Grayson: Some information has led to confusion about if asthma medicines can increase your chance of getting COVID-19. Dr. Grayson addresses these concerns and why it's still important to take your asthma medicines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cleaning Your Hands With Soap Vs. Hand Sanitizer: What Is Best to Protect Yourself From COVID-19 and Other Illnesses?: Keeping your hands clean is one of the easiest ways to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. It can also help help protect you from flu, colds and other respiratory infections. Learn the right way to wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Protecting Your Hands From Eczema During Coronavirus and Flu Outbreaks: Frequent and proper hand-washing is a critical part of protecting yourself from COVID-19. But if you have eczema, washing your hands often can lead to uncomfortable eczema flare-ups. Dr. Jonathan Silverberg, a member of our Medical Scientific Council, answers questions on how you can protect your hands while protecting yourself from COVID-19.

Why Healthy Indoor Air Quality Is Important When Spending More Time Indoors Due to COVID-19: Indoor environments can contain asthma and allergy triggers. And many of us have been spending more time indoors because of COVID-19. But there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure to those indoor triggers.

COVID-19 Guidelines for Schools and the Impact on Kids With Food Allergies: COVID-19 has caused many schools to change their policies and procedures, such as where children will eat lunch. This article includes guidance for parents and school staff on managing food allergies while reducing the spread of the new coronavirus.

Kitchen Creativity: Managing Food Allergies During the Coronavirus (COVID-19): Food supplies have been affected because of COVID-19. For people with food allergies who already have limited allergy-friendly food choices, this can create additional challenges. This blog post offers some creative kitchen ideas for a time when supplies may be limited.

You can find more information about COVID-19 from these sites:

 

 

How has COVID-19 affected you and your family? AAFA would like to hear your story. As someone with asthma and allergies, what have your experiences been during the COVID-19 pandemic? The more we learn, the better we can serve people with asthma and allergies.

If you would like to provide support or share your experiences with COVID-19, please email stories@aafa.org.