Explainer: What is long COVID?

“Long COVID” refers to the many symptoms that develop because of COVID-19, and last for weeks and months after first being infected by COVID-19. It’s also known as “post-COVID conditions,” “long-haul COVID,” “long-term effects of COVID,” or “chronic COVID.” These symptoms include lingering fatigue, shortness of breath, and loss of smell and taste.
Those with mild COVID-19 infections typically recover from long COVID after a couple of weeks. In people with more severe COVID-19 infections, long COVID symptoms usually last months after the initial infection, even after the virus is gone from the body.

Explainer: Who should get the COVID-19 booster shot?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have authorized a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, which were initially two-dose vaccines. They also authorized a second dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 
Both federal agencies said that any adult over the age of 18, and who is six months from their second Moderna or Pfizer shot or two months from the Johnson & Johnson shot, should get a booster shot.

Do COVID-19 breakthrough infections mean the vaccines are no longer effective?

Claim: Due to the increased spread of the Delta variant, people who have been vaccinated have become infected with COVID-19, leading some to think that the vaccines are no longer effective against the virus.
Rating: This claim is FALSE. No vaccine is 100% effective at preventing infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 infections among the fully vaccinated (also called “breakthrough infections”) are to be expected. The more important fact is that the COVID-19 vaccines are still largely effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths. Getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public are still the most effective ways to prevent becoming infected with COVID-19

Are young people safe from the effects of COVID-19?

Claim: Many young people are choosing to not get vaccinated because they believe they will not get sick from COVID-19.  
Rating: This claim is MOSTLY FALSE. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and from the American Academy of Pediatrics show that COVID-19 hospitalizations among children and young adults have been steadily rising over the summer, because of the Delta variant. The majority of new hospitalizations are unvaccinated individuals. Medical professionals are encouraging young people to get vaccinated, so they do not become severely sick from COVID-19 and spread it to vulnerable populations.

Do the COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility?

Claim: A common myth around the COVID-19 vaccines that has circulated around social media is that they cause infertility.
Rating: This claim is FALSE. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said the vaccines are safe for anyone who is pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Their recommendation has been echoed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, who have stated that the vaccines do not cause infertility.  In addition, numerous studies have found that the vaccines do not affect fertility in men or women, and do not affect pregnant women and their fetuses. 

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