In ordinary springtimes, many allergy sufferers must cope with bothersome, or even debilitating, symptoms such as itchy, red, watery eyes; sneezing; a runny or stuffy nose, and sometimes, coughing, wheezing or feeling short of breath. But during this pandemic, they are also dealing with concerns about whether their symptoms might be due to covid-19.

As the beginning of this year’s pollen season coincides with yet another troubling increase in new coronavirus infections, we’ve compiled answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about allergies, the coronavirus and vaccines. The information and recommendations below are drawn from previously published Washington Post articles and new interviews with allergy and immunology experts.

Please keep in mind that as research into the virus and vaccines continues, guidance may change. We will update this FAQ accordingly.

What to know

  • How do I know if it’s allergies or covid?
  • Does having allergies increase my risk of contracting covid?
  • Should I be vaccinated against covid if I have allergies?
  • How should I prepare for my vaccination?
  • I get regular allergy shots, how should I schedule my vaccine appointment?
  • Will my allergy medicine have an effect on my immune system’s response to the vaccine?