Donating Blood and COVID-19: Who’s Eligible and What to Know
Is 2022 the year you join the estimated 6.8 million Americans who annually donate blood? If that’s your plan, you should first familiarize yourself with COVID-19’s effect on your personal donation status.
In most cases, if you have received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you should be able to donate blood without issue. The same thought generally applies to anyone who has contracted COVID-19 at some point but has fully recovered.
Still, there is information to be aware of when it comes to either circumstance.
Can I donate blood if I have tested positive for COVID-19?
According to the FDA, if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 you should refrain from donating blood for at least 14 days after a complete resolution of symptoms.
Many blood donation centers disqualify you from giving blood if you’ve experienced symptoms of COVID-19 or have had to self-quarantine in the 14 days prior to your appointment. Those symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
Standard screening processes are in place at blood donation centers to block anyone with these symptoms from donating.
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, you can donate without a waiting period and without having a diagnostic test done before donation as long you never developed symptoms.
Can I donate blood if I’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19?
It is safe to donate blood, plasma, or platelets after receiving doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
There is no deferral time for eligible blood donors who have received a COVID-19 vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, or Pfizer.
You must be free any symptoms at the time of your donation and will need to provide the manufacturer name of your COVID-19 vaccine when you come to donate.
Some donation centers will request you wait two weeks to donate after your vaccination if you do not know the name of your vaccine manufacturer.
Remember, if you become sick after donating blood, most donation centers provide a callback number for you to reach if you become sick with any illness in the days after a donation.
Photo credit: Getty Images
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