(ABC4) – As more and more Americans receive the COVID-19 vaccine, some are wondering if they can still donate blood and plasma. The Red Cross tells ABC4 they, like all blood collectors in the U.S., are required to follow eligibility guidelines by the FDA. That includes guidance regarding blood donor eligibility related to those who receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Under the latest guidance, the Red Cross says “it is critical that potential donors know the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine they received.”
Those who receive a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Novavax, or Pfizer have no deferral time. That means that as long as you are symptom free and feeling well at the time of your donation, you can donate blood without waiting.
Eligible blood donors who receive a live attenuated COVID-19 vaccine or do not know what type of COVID-19 vaccine they received must wait two weeks before giving blood. In mid-January, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration updated its guidance regarding convalescent plasma donor eligibility related to those who receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Red Cross explains that those who had COVID-19 symptoms and received a confirmed COVID-19 diagnostic test before vaccination, have fully recovered from symptoms of the virus within the last six months, and meet other donation eligibility criteria may be able to donate convalescent plasma to help those still battling the virus.
“This is to ensure that COVID-19 convalescent plasma collected from donors contains sufficient antibodies directly related to their immune response to COVID-19 infection,” according to the guidance.
At this time, individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine cannot donate convalescent plasma with the Red Cross.
“Currently, we are working as quickly as possible to evaluate this change—as it may involve complex system updates,” a spokesperson tells ABC4. “Please know, the Red Cross is committed to building a readily available inventory of convalescent plasma to ensure patients battling COVID-19 have all treatment options available to them.”
For more on requirements for blood donors, click here.
ABC4 has answered numerous questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. Here is a look at a few:
How long should I wait to get the vaccine after having the virus?
According to Jenny Johnson, Public Information Officer with the Utah Department of Health, people who have had COVID-19 can safely be vaccinated.
The only “rule” about being vaccinated after being infected with the virus, she says, is that people must have completed the quarantine period and be symptom-free.
“There is no reason why someone should not get the vaccine after being infected,” Johnson says.
What should and shouldn’t I do after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?
Do you continue to social distance and wear a mask? And when does immunity set in?
The Utah Department of Health provided ABC4 some guidelines.
I missed my second COVID-19 shot – now what?
The appointment is scheduled, and you missed getting it! What do you do now? Will you have to take two more shots? Probably not. Here’s what the Utah Department of Health says:
“You should get your second shot as close to the recommended 3-week or 1-month interval as possible. However, there is no maximum interval between the first and second doses for either vaccine. You should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval.”
Do the vaccines have microchips in them?
No, the vaccines do not have a microchip in them. ABC4 spoke with a pair of experts who explain where the theory came from.
Can I take painkillers before or after receiving the vaccine?
It’s best to avoid them, unless you routinely take them for a medical condition, officials say. Although the evidence is limited, some painkillers might interfere with the very thing the vaccine is trying to do: generate a strong immune system response. Health officials explain why.
For continuing coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and the vaccine, click here.