BUCKHANNON —Although receiving the COVID-19 vaccine does not eliminate an individual from donating blood, deferral times for donating through the American Red Cross may vary depending on the type of vaccination an individual receives.
Regional Communications Manager for the Central Appalachia Region, Regina Bratton, was eager to put the rumors to rest regarding COVID-19 vaccines in regard to eligibility to donate blood. Bratton told The Record Delta, “With the ongoing pandemic, the Red Cross needs the help of blood donors and blood drive hosts to meet the needs of patient care. The Red Cross is following FDA blood donation eligibility guidance for those who receive a COVID-19 vaccination.”
According to Bratton, if an individual has received the COVID-19 vaccine and is wanting to donate blood, they must provide the manufacturer name prior to donating. In most cases however, “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/Johnson&Johnson, Moderna, Novavax, or Pfizer,” Bratton explained. If an individual is unsure of the manufacturer or has received a live attenuated COVID-19 vaccine, they must wait two weeks prior to giving blood.
Vaccinated individuals should receive a card or printout signifying which COVID-19 vaccine they received, which they are encouraged by the American Red Cross to bring along with them to their next donation. If you or someone you know has further eligibility questions, call 1-800-733-2767.
Bratton concluded, “The Red Cross, as an organization, is not a healthcare provider and is not administering COVID-19 vaccinations in the U.S. However, Red Cross volunteers who are medical professionals may work with local authorities to help give vaccinations if their state licenses permit them to do so. In addition, Red Cross teams are currently helping to vaccinate U.S. service members on bases around the world.”