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December 23, 2021 – The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America’s Medical and Research Advisory Committee reminds the sickle cell community that the COVID-19 pandemic is having another increase in infections. New variants like omicron are emerging, as are common for RNA viruses, and vaccination rates need to consequently improve. Vaccinations can protect against severe illness. A new medication might also help as early treatment for infected individuals.
• No general recommendation for all individuals with SCD to stay home nor for all to return to in-person activities. Patients and families need to make individualized assessments of the risks and trade-offs of returning to work or school in person. Factors to consider include vaccination status, the rate of COVID-19 and variants in your community, family socioeconomic situation, protective measures in the building (proper ventilation, physical distancing, etc.), mental health needs and educational needs.
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