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Can You Donate Blood After the COVID-19 Vaccine

According to health experts, it is absolutely safe to donating blood after the COVID-19 vaccine. In fact, it's an important time to donate blood right now, regardless of your vaccination status, especially in the summer months, when the blood volume from donation tends to decrease.

The American Red Cross reports that a donor’s immune response to the vaccine will not be disrupted by giving blood and does not reduce the antibody protection against the COVID-19 virus. Additionally, people can donate blood with vaccine's antibodies.

Who is eligible to donate blood

You are eligible to donate blood anytime after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. As long as you are feeling healthy and well, there is no need to wait between the time you received the shot and blood donation.

According to the Red Cross, blood can also be donated in between the first and second vaccine doses as long as the recipient is not experiencing any side effects from the vaccine, such as muscle aches, headache, soreness, or fever. Blood donation can resume once side effects go away.

Although giving blood is a great way to help those that are facing critical health situations, there are certain criteria that disqualify someone from donating blood either temporarily or permanently.

The World Health Organization (WHO) advises not donate blood if you:

  • Are sick with the flu, sore throat, cold, or other infection;
  • Have had minor dental work done, you must wait 24 hours before donating;
  • Have recently traveled to a country with a high risk of mosquito-borne infections;
  • Have engaged in unprotected, high-risk sex in the last 12 months;
  • Tested positive for HIV and other blood-borne diseases (hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, syphilis...);
  • Have used recreational drugs and stimulants;
  • Have given birth within the past 9 months;
  • Are breastfeeding.

Early in the pandemic, the antibodies from donated plasma obtained from those who recovered from COVID-19 (referred to as convalescent plasma) were thought to be beneficial in treating those with an active infection. However, recent studies have shown that this is not the case, and according to the American Red Cross, people who are vaccinated are not yet eligible to donate convalescent plasma.

Blood donation is a noble gesture for the community.

Types of blood donation:

There are several different types of blood donation: whole blood, plasma, and platelets. Each type has its own specific eligibility requirements. In Vietnam, at this moment there are mainly two forms of blood donation: whole blood and platelets.

Whole Blood Donation

Whole blood contains red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. You can donate whole blood voluntarily, if you are between 18-60 years old, weight should be not less than 42kg for women and not less than 45kg for men; the amount of blood donated each time cannot exceed 9ml/kg body weight; hemoglobin level cannot be less than 120g/l. It takes at least 12 weeks after your last donation to resume donating blood or platelets.

Platelet Donation

Platelets are the blood clotting components of blood and help the body stop bleeding when it is injured. Platelet donation is helpful for those that have cancer, chronic diseases, or have suffered a trauma.

Requirements for platelet donation:

  • Good health, meeting health criteria: blood pressure, hemoglobin level, platelet count (examined before participating in platelet donation);
  • Voluntary donation;
  • Age: from 18 to 60;
  • Weight: 50 kg or more;
  • Sufficient vein diameter;
  • Last blood donation not sooner than 12 weeks ago;
  • After donating platelets, it takes 3 weeks before the next donation can be taken.

Why Blood Donation Is Important

Since there is not an artificial substitute for blood, physicians rely on blood donation to save the lives. Medical institutions rely on blood supply from donors to meet patients' needs and to ensure they are prepared for emergencies.

Blood transfusions are used in surgery, for traumatic injuries, cancer patients, chronic diseases, and for those with blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia and hemophilia.

Donating blood benefits both the society and donors in the way that it rewards donors with the feeling of accomplishment and contributing to the society, the ease of mind, it removes excess iron from body, generates new blood and helps prevent the stroke. In hard times, like the COVID-19 pandemic, blood stocks become scarce. That is why, it is so important to encourage people to participate in blood donation. People who have got jabs against COVID-19 can also take part just as they did before.

Source: Very well Health.