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Medications & Vaccines

A medical professional wearing medical gloves preparing a shot


There are some medications that can be used to help prevent the issues that arise from having sickled cells. Speak with your doctor about which of these options might be right for you.

  • Voxelotor: This is an oral medication that helps prevent red blood cells from turning into the sickle shape and binding together which also reduces the risk for clots and reduces risk for anemia
  • Crizanlizumab: A type of intravenous medication that can prevent blood cells from sticking to blood vessel walls and causing blood flow blockage
  • Hydroxyurea: An oral medication that reduces the number of sickled cells and can reduce the number of pain episodes and risk for anemia. Pregnant people should not use hydroxyurea.
  • Folic acid: This vitamin supplement helps with the replenishing of blood cells


Individuals with sickle cell are more vulnerable to certain types of infections. Along with routine vaccinations all individuals get, there are recommended vaccinations that have been shown to reduce the risk of infection in children with sickle cell.

Below is a list of the appropriate vaccinations for children according to the Center for Disease Control

Influenza (Hib) vaccinations

  • For ages 0-18 years: 3 doses at 2,4,6 months and a booster at 12-15 months
  • For ages 19+: One dose of Hib if no previous doses

Pneumococcus (PCV13 and PPSV23) vaccinations

  • For ages 2-5 years: 2 doses of PCV13
  • For ages 6-18 years: 1 dose of PCV13 and two doses of PPSV23

Meningococcus (MenACWY and MenB) vaccinations

  • One dose of MenACWY at 13-15 and booster between 16-18
  • Booster of MenB 1 year after 2 dose series, then every 2 years after
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