Indiana Sickle Cell Disease Patients Age 16 and Older Now Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine
People aged 16 and older with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) are now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Indiana. We strongly recommend that our patients with SCD who are 16 years of age and older get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccine can protect you from getting very sick or having to go to the hospital because of COVID-19. The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America has recommended that people with SCD get the COVID-19 vaccine because they are at high risk of getting very sick if they get COVID-19.
The COVID-19 vaccine was very carefully studied. About 56 million people have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. There are some common side effects. These include pain at the injection site, fever, and chills. These are normal signs that your body is learning how to fight COVID-19. These side effects are usually mild or moderate. They tend to go away in 1 or 2 days. If you need to, you can take an over the counter pain medicine like Tylenol or ibuprofen after your vaccine.
Some people are worried about getting the vaccine. Some of this worry is because of past mistreatment of Black and other minority people by medical researchers. About 10%, or 1 in 10, of the people who got the vaccine as part of studies on the COVID-19 vaccine were Black. Many Black organizations have worked hard to make sure the vaccine is safe and effective for the Black community. You can find more information about this and other concerns that have been expressed at www.indianasicklecell.org. If you have any questions about the vaccine, you may also contact Kimber Blackwell at 317-871-0000.
What Happens Next
- You will receive an email or text message and a letter from the Indiana State Department of Health (IDOH). This email or text message will prompt you to schedule an appointment to get a vaccine. Letters will provide a number you can call to schedule an appointment to get a vaccine. Letters, emails and text messages will only be made to people with SCD who live in Indiana and are 16 years old or older.
- When you schedule your appointment, you can choose where you want to go to get your vaccine. Vaccines are available at local hospitals and clinics. The Martin Center will also be hosting a vaccine clinic in March. You can find more information about the Martin Center clinic by calling the Martin Center at 317-927-5158.
- If you have questions about this process or need help scheduling your vaccine, you can call Kim Pfister at 317-871-0000.
How to protect you and your loved ones from COVID-19
We don’t know yet if the vaccine keeps you from passing COVID-19 on to other people. Even after you get the vaccine, you will still need to follow guidelines like:
- Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth
- Wash your hands often
- Stay at least 6 feet away from people you don’t live with
- Avoid crowds
The IHTC Sickle Cell Team