Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide
ASERT has compiled resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current COVID-19 outbreak.
Misinformation is news, messages, posts, or other types of information which are not true. There is a lot of misinformation around COVID-19 on the internet and even on some news and media channels. It is important to use trusted and evidence based sources when making decisions about your health.
You should use trusted sources, such as official government or health care websites and their social media channels. These websites will often (though not always) contain .org, .gov, or .edu in their web address.
Check other information from the source, including links and sources, to see if it appears reliable. If information can only be found in one place, such as a Facebook post or blog, you should be extremely cautious to trust that it is true. You can also search other credible resources to see if they are sharing similar information.
The best way to help families and individuals who are approaching you with misinformation about COVID-19 is to provide accurate information and to explain where accurate information can be found. ASERT has developed many resources to answer frequently asked questions about COVID-19 including some of the most common questions below. You can visit the ASERT resource page at any time to search for information related to COVID-19 or other topics of interest here: https://paautism.org/resources/
While most individuals that contract COVID-19 will recover, there is still significant risk of
serious infection and long-term side effects. Additionally, individuals with health concerns or
other risk factors face an increased risk of severe infection and hospitalization.
Viruses change and mutate. COVID-19 has been challenging because of the combination of low vaccination rates and several variants spreading in the community. The current most common variant of COVID-19, known as the Delta variant, is known to be 2x as contagious as previous variants of COVID-19. You can find more information about variants of COVID-19 in this resource created by the CDC.
The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Over 30 years of vaccine research has led to the COVID-19 vaccines and tens of thousands of individuals participated in the clinical trial and tens of millions of people have already received the vaccine.
The COVID-19 vaccines in the US do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
The COVID-19 vaccines do not change your DNA. The vaccines help your body to make antibodies, which already naturally occur in your body when you get sick. The COVID-19 vaccines specifically help your body to create antibodies more effective at recognizing and fighting off COVID-19. This brief video developed by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services explains more.
There is no evidence the vaccines affect your ability to have children. Millions of young adults have been vaccinated and there has been no evidence of fertility issues.
Not getting vaccinated puts you at much higher risk of severe COVID-19, which can make you very sick for a long period of time or even lead to hospitalization or death – even if you’re young and healthy. Getting vaccinated helps protect you against these risks.
The Centers for Disease Control recommend that in areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, you should wear a mask in crowded settings and for activities where you may be in close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated. Individual states, counties and even local business/stores may require you to wear a mask indoors. You can track the number of COVID-19 cases in your local area using the CDC COVID-19 tracker.
Resource Highlight: I’m Vaccinated, Now What? Social Stories — AID In PA
Resource Highlight: Wearing a Mask and Communication — PAAutism.org, an ASERT Autism Resource Guide
COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of people getting COVID-19 and can also reduce the risk of spreading it.
Resource Highlight: Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine Social Stories — AID In PA
This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.