Vaccination is the best defense against serious COVID-19-related illness and can prevent infection altogether. While antiviral drugs and other treatments are an important advancement, they are not 100% effective in reducing the risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19, and they are not a substitute for getting vaccinated. 

COVID-19 can cause serious health impacts, especially for those who are not vaccinated and/or live with risk factors for severe disease progression. Alongside vaccination, testing, staying home when you’re sick, and washing your hands, masks are an important tool you can use to protect yourself and others from getting sick. These measures may be particularly important if your community’s COVID-19 Hospital Admission Level is high.

Updated November 9, 2023