Sickle Cell & Flu Shots: Facts You Don’t Know

    A man in a winter parka and hat standing outside in the snow and blowing his noseCommon illnesses, like the flu, can quickly become dangerous, especially for a person with sickle cell disease. Studies have shown that people with sickle cell disease, especially children, are more likely to have flu complications that result in hospitalization and occasionally even death.

    So what can you do to help protect yourself and your family?

    Get a flu shot! The flu shot is recommended yearly for everyone 6 months of age and older. People with sickle cell disease should get the flu shot, and not FluMist nasal spray.

    Parents shouldn’t worry: the seasonal flu shot does not increase the risk of hospitalization for sickle cell crisis among children who have the condition.

    After having a shot, it takes about 2 weeks for a person’s body to develop an immune response. Also, remember that anyone can get sick from the flu and easily spread the virus to friends and loved ones—even if they think they’re healthy.

    The holidays are here and it’s such a busy time! But don’t forget to contact your doctor and schedule an appointment for your annual flu shot if you haven’t done so already. CDC recommends that people get flu shots as soon as they become available in their community.

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