COLUMBUS, Ohio — There is a critical need for blood donations in the U.S. right now. This, as health leaders in Ohio push for more people to get vaccinated. This week a viewer asked us to verify a claim about both COVID vaccines and the ability to donate blood.
You can’t donate blood if you recently got vaccinated for COVID-19.
THE ANSWER: False. You can donate blood if you recently received the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccines as long as you are symptom-free and meet other eligibility criteria.
- The FDA
- Marita Salkowski, regional communication director for the Central and Southern Ohio Region of the American Red Cross.
Here’s what we found:
“[That claim is] not true,” said Salkowski. “The Red Cross will accept your blood and we very much appreciate receiving your blood given the situation that we're in.”
Salkowski said if you have symptoms or aren't feeling well after getting vaccinated, then you should wait to donate until those symptoms go away.
The FDA provided an update this week on its website relating to blood donations and COVID-19. The post, dated January 11, 2022, said in part, "respiratory viruses, in general, are not known to be transmitted by blood transfusion."
According to the FDA, donors must be in good health the day of donation and meet eligibility criteria.
The blood establishments responsible physician may "wish to consider" other factors including a donor's recent COVID-19 vaccine. The guidance said: “individuals who received a nonreplicating, inactivated, or mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine can donate blood without a waiting period.” That means the Pfizer or Moderna COVID, or Johnson and Johnson vaccines.
The website update goes on to say, “individuals who received a live-attenuated viral COVID-19 vaccine, refrain from donating blood for a short waiting period (e.g., 14 days) after receipt of the vaccine.” An example of this for COVID is a vaccine made by Codagenix that is currently being evaluated in a Phase I clinical trial.
Bottom line, according to the American Red Cross, “there is no deferral time for eligible blood donors who are vaccinated with an inactivated or RNA based COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca, Janssen/J&J, Moderna, Novavax, or Pfizer.”
So we can verify, a donor can donate blood after getting vaccinated for COVID-19 with the vaccines available right now in the United States.
However, how soon depends on the health of the donor on the day of donation.
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