Foundation series

Updated CDC COVID-19 Guidelines | Lupus Foundation of America

In early August, the CDC announced its new COVID-19 guidelines, emphasizing how people can prevent serious infection rather than spreading the virus. The CDC does not recommend abandoning all precautionary measures. But the new guidelines emphasize vaccination to prevent infection rather than requiring regular testing, quarantine for people who have been exposed, wearing masks and social distancing.

We know this can be confusing and difficult for people with lupus. In general, people with lupus are at higher risk of COVID-19 infection and severe illness. Lupus affects each person differently, and a person’s level of risk varies depending on disease activity and the medications they take.

We suggest that the best ways to protect yourself in today’s environment are to:

  • Get vaccinated and stay up to date on your shots and boosters. Current recommendations for patients taking immunosuppressants are to stand up five vaccines: a first series of three mRNA vaccines and two boosters.
  • Encourage those around you – your family, friends and co-workers – to become aware of your condition and to take steps to protect themselves and you, including vaccination.
  • Talk to your doctor about your level of risk and whether you should continue to wear a mask in public places.
  • Ask your doctor about Evusheld. Evusheld is a monoclonal antibody injection for people who are immunocompromised and may not have had good antibody responses to vaccines.
  • Paxlovid is an antiviral drug that can prevent severe cases of COVID-19 if you take it soon after testing positive.
  • Talk to your doctor about these drugs to prevent and treat COVID-19 and have a plan for what to do if you get sick.
  • If you start having symptoms, get tested immediately. Drugs for COVID-19 work best when given early.
  • Trust yourself. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe about a gathering or event and can stay home, do so. You have every right to take care of your health. Masking and social distancing still work!

Throughout the pandemic, the Lupus Foundation of America has played a leading role in advocating for people with lupus and their needs. To name a few, we serve on the steering committee of the Immunocompromised Collaborative, a group of leading national organizations representing immunocompromised people. We also continue to work with the CDC and other government officials to ensure that the needs of people with lupus are a priority. The safety and well-being of the lupus community is our top priority.

Check out some of the most common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and lupus that our health education specialists have received and answered.

Learn more about the CDC’s summary of guidance to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on people, communities, and health care systems.