Treatments, vaccines, and immunity
The FDA has approved Veklury (remdesivir) for certain COVID-19 patients.
During public health emergencies, the FDA may in certain circumstances authorize use of unapproved drugs or unapproved uses of approved drugs for life-threatening conditions when there are no adequate, approved, and available options and other conditions are met. This is called an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
The FDA is scheduled to meet in December to discuss the request for EUA for a potential vaccine.
Currently there are no FDA-approved medicines specifically for COVID-19. However, the FDA has granted emergency use authorizations for some medicines to be used for certain patients hospitalized with COVID-19. The National Institutes of Health provides more information about treatment options.
People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. People with mild symptoms are able to recover at home. If you experience a medical emergency such as trouble breathing, call 911 and let the operator know you may have COVID-19. Never take a prescription medicine or drug if it is not prescribed for you by your doctor for your health condition.
No. Antibiotics do not work against viruses; they only work on bacterial infections. Antibiotics do not prevent or treat coronavirus disease (COVID-19), because COVID-19 is caused by a virus, not bacteria. Some patients with COVID-19 may also develop a bacterial infection, such as pneumonia. In that case, a health care professional may treat the bacterial infection with an antibiotic.
Currently, there is no evidence to show that taking ibuprofen or naproxen can lead to a more severe infection of COVID-19.
People with high blood pressure should take their blood pressure medications, as directed, and work with their healthcare provider to make sure that their blood pressure is as well controlled as possible. Any changes to your medications should only be made by your healthcare provider.
We do not know yet if people who recover from COVID-19 can get infected again. CDC and partners are investigating to determine if a person can get sick with COVID-19 more than once. Until we know more, continue to take steps to protect yourself and others.
Operation Warp Speed is a partnership among components of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense to help develop, make, and distribute millions of vaccine doses for COVID-19 as quickly as possible while ensuring that the vaccines are safe and that they work. Learn more about Operation Warp Speed:
- HHS Fact Sheet: Explaining Operation Warp Speed
- New England Journal of Medicine article: Developing Safe and Effective COVID Vaccines — Operation Warp Speed’s Strategy and Approach
Multiple COVID-19 vaccines are under development. As of October 13, 2020, four vaccines have begun large-scale (phase 3) clinical trials in the United States.
The federal government is committed to providing free or low-cost COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccination providers will be able to charge an administration fee for giving the shot to someone. Most public and private insurance companies will cover that fee so there is no cost for the person getting vaccinated. In addition, people without health insurance can get COVID-19 vaccines at no cost.
When FDA first authorizes or approves the use of one or more COVID-19 vaccines in the United States, there may be a limited supply. This would mean that not everyone will be able to be vaccinated right away. It is understandable how concerning this will be for people, especially for those who are at increased risk for serious illness from this virus and for their loved ones.
That is why, early in the response, the federal government began investing in select vaccine manufacturers to help them increase their ability to quickly make and distribute a large amount of COVID-19 vaccine. This will allow the United States to start with as much vaccine as possible and continually increase the supply in the weeks and months to follow. The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as large quantities are available. Whether it’s at their doctor’s office, retail pharmacy, hospital, or federally qualified health center, several thousand vaccination providers will be available so no one will have to travel far to be vaccinated.
At first, there may be a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine(s). Operation Warp Speed will work to get those first vaccine doses out once a vaccine is authorized or approved and recommended, rather than waiting until there are enough vaccines for everyone. However, it is important that the initial vaccines are given to people in a fair, ethical, and transparent way. Learn how CDC is making COVID-19 vaccine recommendations, including recommendations if there is a limited supply, based on input from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
There is not enough information currently available to say if or for how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again; this is called natural immunity. Early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long, but more studies are needed to better understand this. Until we have a vaccine available and know more about natural immunity to COVID-19, CDC cannot comment on whether people who had COVID-19 should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Once a vaccine has been authorized or approved, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will make recommendations to CDC on who should get a COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 convalescent plasma must only be collected from recovered individuals if they are eligible to donate blood. Individuals must have had a prior diagnosis of COVID-19 documented by a laboratory test and meet other laboratory criteria. Individuals must have fully recovered from COVID-19, with complete resolution of symptoms for at least 14 days before donation of convalescent plasma. You can ask your local blood center if there are options to donate convalescent plasma in your area.
On October 22, 2020, the FDA approved Veklury (remdesivir) for certain COVID-19 patients. Remdesivir is approved for adults and children 12 years and older, who weigh at least 88 pounds, and are in the hospital.
No. While there are approved uses for ivermectin in people and animals, it is not approved for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. You should not take any medicine to treat or prevent COVID-19 unless it has been prescribed to you by your health care provider and acquired from a legitimate source.
A recently released research article described the effect of ivermectin on SARS-CoV-2 in a laboratory setting. These types of laboratory studies are commonly used at an early stage of drug development. Additional testing is needed to determine whether ivermectin might be appropriate to prevent or treat coronavirus or COVID-19. Read more about ivermectin.
Based on a review of the scientific evidence, chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate are unlikely to be effective in treating COVID-19. In light of ongoing serious cardiac adverse events and other potential serious side effects of these treatments in COVID-19 patients, the known and potential benefits no longer outweigh the known and potential risks for use.
The FDA revoked an emergency use authorization for use of hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate as a COVID-19 treatment on June 15, 2020 based on FDA’s review of the scientific evidence.
No. Products marketed for veterinary use, “for research only,” or otherwise not for human consumption have not been evaluated for safety or effectiveness and should never be used by humans. FDA is aware that chloroquine phosphate is marketed to treat disease in aquarium fish, but these products have not been evaluated by FDA to determine if they are safe, effective, properly manufactured, and adequately labeled. The agency continues to work with online marketplaces to remove these items, and many have been removed based on these efforts. Patients should not take any form of chloroquine unless it has been prescribed by a licensed health care provider. Chloroquine products also should not be given to pets or livestock unless prescribed by a veterinarian.
At this point, there are no vaccines or cures for COVID-19 available to the public, so you know that any claim to the contrary is false. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission has sent hundreds of warning letters to companies making false cure, treatment, or prevention claims. And more letters are on the way. If you see a product claiming to treat, cure, or prevent coronavirus, report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
Currently, there are no FDA-approved products for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. The FDA advises consumers to be beware of websites and stores selling products that claim to prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19. If you have a question about a product sold online that claims to treat, prevent, or cure COVID-19, talk to your health care provider or doctor.
Please report websites selling products with fraudulent claims about treatment or prevention of COVID-19. If you have experienced a bad reaction to a product sold with COVID-19 claims, report it to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program:
- Complete and submit the report online; or
- Download and complete the form (PDF), then submit it via fax at 1-800-FDA-0178.
- Include as much information as you can about the product that caused the reaction, including the product name, the manufacturer, and the lot number (if available).
No. According to the FDA, there are currently no products or treatments available to the public that can prevent, treat or cure COVID-19. Some sellers may offer “treatments” in clinics or medical offices, including intravenous Vitamin C and D infusions, stem cell therapy, and immunity boosting shots. However, these are not FDA approved treatments. Any claims to the contrary are false. If you’re tempted to buy an unproven product or one with questionable claims, check with your doctor or other health care professional first.
No. Miracle Mineral Solution does not cure COVID-19 and has not been approved by the FDA for any use. The solution, when mixed, develops into a dangerous bleach which has caused serious and potentially life-threatening side effects. For more information, see: FDA warns consumers about the dangerous and potentially life threatening side effects of Miracle Mineral Solution and Danger: Don’t Drink Miracle Mineral Solution or Similar Products.
The FDA has established a cross-agency team dedicated to closely monitoring for fraudulent COVID-19 products. In response to internet scammers, the FDA has taken – and continues to take – actions to stop those selling unapproved products that fraudulently claim to prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19. The FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issue warning letters to companies and individuals that are unlawfully selling unapproved products with fraudulent COVID-19 claims.
The FDA also has taken enforcement action against certain sellers that continued to illegally market products for prevention or treatment of COVID-19.
Additionally, the FDA also has reached out to major retailers to ask for their help in monitoring online marketplaces for fraudulent COVID-19 products. You can report websites selling fraudulent medical products to the FDA through our website, by phone at 1-800-332-1088, or
email the FDA at FDA-COVID-19-Fraudulent-Products@fda.hhs.gov
Read more in the consumer update on fraudulent products.
DIY ventilator makers may request that their product be added to the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) that FDA issued on March 24, 2020, to legally market the product in the U.S. Instructions on how to do so, and the criteria for ventilator safety, performance and labeling, may be found in the Letter of Authorization and Appendix A for the EUA related to ventilators, anesthesia gas machines modified for use as ventilators, positive pressure breathing devices modified for use as ventilators, ventilator tubing connectors, and ventilator accessories.