September 24, 2021 — News about COVID-19 continues to move quickly as we weather the pandemic. The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America’s Medical and Research Advisory Committee provides the following updates on vaccination recommendations:
1. Individuals with SCD are now eligible for the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC recommends that people who are immunocompromised or have medical conditions with poor antibody production receive vaccine boosters. One of the eligible conditions is asplenia (no spleen function). Because of the relationship between asplenia and SCD, sickle cell patients are eligible to receive a third dose of the vaccine if they have already received the first two doses.
2. If you have not had the first dose of the vaccine, please do so as soon as possible. Nearly everybody is eligible to receive their first shot. Only children under age 12 or individuals with known allergies to the vaccine ingredients are ineligible. Thousands of individuals with SCD have now had the COVID-19 vaccine. Like the public, many had some side effects that went away after three days. Only a tiny number of individuals experienced sickle cell pain after their shot. A COVID-19 infection poses a great risk for people with SCD. The vaccine is a safe way to reduce that risk. To find a vaccine location near you, visit www.vaccines.gov.