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Does COVID-19 vaccination impact blood donation eligibility?

Bill Stephens

April 23rd, 2021

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(April 22, 2021) —  This spring as COVID-19 vaccines become more available and people resume some of their favorite activities, the American Red Cross is reminding the public that the need for blood remains. Healthy individuals are encouraged to make a blood donation appointment now. But what about those who’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine – can they donate?

As long as donors are symptom-free, feeling well and can provide the vaccine manufacturer’s name, there’s no waiting period required after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine currently authorized in the U.S. Additional blood donation eligibility information is available at RedCrossBlood.org/Eligibility.

Three reasons not to wait to donate:

Schedule an appointment now to give blood and make it a summer full of life for patients. Appointments can be made by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Health insights for donors

The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Testing may also identify the presence of antibodies developed after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

Plasma from routine blood and platelet donations that test positive for high levels of antibodies may be used as convalescent plasma to meet potential future needs of COVID-19 patients. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood product collected from COVID-19 survivors who have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus.

The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.

At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is also screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.  

Donors can expect to receive antibody test and sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.

Blood drive safety

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face masks for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.  

Upcoming blood donation opportunities May 1-15

American Red Cross Southwestern Indiana Chapter, 29 South Stockwell Road Evansville, IN 47714

5/4/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

5/10/2021: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Branchville United Methodist Church, 11261 Branchville Road Branchville, IN 47514

5/3/2021: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Dubois County Fairgrounds, 4157 South state Road 162 Huntingburg, IN 47542

5/14/2021: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Evansville Blood Donation Center, 29 North Stockwell Road Evansville, IN 47714

5/1/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

5/3/2021: 12:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

5/4/2021: 12:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

5/5/2021: 12:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

5/7/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 3 p.m.

5/8/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

5/10/2021: 12:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

5/11/2021: 12:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

5/12/2021: 12:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

5/14/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 3 p.m.

5/15/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Faith Free Will Baptist Church, 303 North 5th St. Chandler, IN 47610

5/6/2021: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Hampton Inn Evansville/Airport, 5701 Highway 41 N. Evansville, IN 47711

5/6/2021: 7 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Harvest Community Fellowship, 200 W. Main St. Washington, IN 47501

5/7/2021: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Helen Griffith Elementary School, 803 E National Hwy. Washington, IN 47501

5/13/2021: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Jasper Library, 100 Third Ave. Jasper, IN 47546

5/5/2021: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Knights of Columbus, 313 West Broadway Princeton, IN 47670

5/3/2021: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Living Word Christian Church, 3888 IN-261 Newburgh, IN 47630

5/10/2021: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Precious Blood Catholic Church, 1385 W. 6th St. Jasper, IN 47546

5/6/2021: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Santa Claus United Methodist Church, 351 North Holiday Blvd. Santa Claus, IN 47579

5/4/2021: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Spencer County 4-H Youth and Community Center, Junction of Hwy 231 and 70 Chrisney, IN 47611

5/3/2021: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Sri Saidham Hindu Temple, 6299 Oak Grove Road Newburgh, IN  47630

5/11/2021: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

St. Joseph Parish Center, 214 South Wallace St. Dale, IN 47523

5/9/2021: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

The Wyndmoor of Evansville, 6521 Greendale Drive Evansville, IN 47711

5/5/2021: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

About blood donation

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit  RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

* Restrictions apply. Winner must provide tow vehicle with the appropriate tow capacity for use with the prize vehicle at all times, i.e., such as a full-sized truck or SUV, in order to take delivery of the prize (2021 Coachmen Clipper Cadet 21CBH, estimated at 5,000 pounds). Additional information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/SummerFullOfLife.

** Restrictions apply. Additional information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/SummerFullOfLife.

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