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American Red Cross says it is safe to donate blood after getting the COVID-19 vaccine

Updated: Oct 14, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - The American Red Cross says it’s safe to donate blood after getting a COVID-19 Vaccine. It now has a constant need for blood donations as more people become vaccinated.

Photo, Ava Lange

Oncologist and Hematologist, Caspian Oliai, says, “Because of the pandemic, there has been a shortage of blood donations. There is no better time to donate than now because our supply has been so low.”

The Red Cross encourages people to bring their vaccination card with them when they donate. The blood bank needs to know which manufacturer made the vaccine, because if a live virus vaccine becomes available, potential donors would have to wait for 2 weeks before they could donate. The precautions mean people in need can be helped.

A blood donor at The Red Cross says, “I feel like if you’re able to you should give another opportunity for someone to be saved. I think it’s really important to give back.”

The Red Cross is testing all blood, platelets and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. As part of that effort, plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions. The Red Cross says it is committed to helping others in meaningful ways during this pandemic.

In most cases, there’s no waiting period before donating blood after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

Phlebotomist, Jordan Leggett, says, “For general safety, get your vaccine. If you get a vaccine, you can donate blood, just make sure you don’t have any symptoms the day you donate blood.”

Here are the only exceptions that require deferral time:

  • If you received one of the early test vaccines used in clinical trials

  • If you don't know the name of the vaccine you received

  • If you experienced side effects from your shot

The Red Cross takes safety precautions to protect donors. Leggett also says, “After every donor that we take into the room, we close off the door to be sanitized and we bring them out to a sanitized bed. Everything that the donor touches has been sanitized. Then sanitized after.”

The American Red Cross follows FDA blood donation eligibility guidance for those who

receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

If you're interested in giving the gift of life, there are three ways to donate with the American Red Cross:

Video, The American Red Cross

Video, Ava Lange

Audio, Ava Lange

By Ava Lange

With contributions from The American Red Cross

Photo, Ava Lange

Video, The American Red Cross

Video, Ava Lange

Audio, Ava Lange



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