If you get the COVID-19 vaccine can you still donate blood or convalescent plasma? Bottom line is, it depends. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the agency that regulates blood centers in the United States, has provided specific eligibility criteria for blood and platelet donors, as well as specific eligibility criteria for convalescent plasma donors.
What You Need to Know: Donating Blood and Platelets After Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine
Can I donate blood or platelets after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?
If you receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine there is no waiting period to donate blood or platelets after receiving these vaccines and you can donate now. However, if you receive the COVID-19 vaccine from any other manufacturer you will need to wait two weeks before donating.
How do I know which vaccine I received?
When you receive your COVID-19 vaccination you should receive a vaccination card indicating which COVID-19 vaccine you received.
Do I need to provide documentation to OneBlood that I received the COVID-19 vaccine?
During the registration process to donate, your OneBlood phlebotomist will ask you if you received a COVID-19 vaccine, which vaccine you received and when you received it. The FDA requires that these questions be asked to determine donor eligibility. If you do not know the answers, you will not be able to donate. To simplify the process, you can also bring your COVID-19 vaccination card and show it to your phlebotomist.
What if I do not know which vaccine I received or do not have a vaccination card?
If you arrive to donate and you do not know which COVID-19 vaccine you received you will not be able to donate and will need to wait two weeks before donating, as a precautionary measure.
What You Need to Know: Donating Convalescent Plasma After Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine
It’s important that convalescent plasma donors know that the FDA has implemented specific donor eligibility criteria for convalescent plasma donors who receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Convalescent plasma is in high demand by area hospitals. Only people who have recovered from COVID-19 can be potential convalescent plasma donors. That’s because people who have recovered from COVID-19 have developed antibodies to the virus that remain in the plasma portion of their blood. By transfusing their plasma into a patient still fighting the virus, it can potentially boost the person’s immune system and help them recover.
The big question is, if you recovered from COVID-19 and receive the COVID-19 vaccine can you donate convalescent plasma? The answer is no. However, the FDA is actively looking at this donor eligibility issue and additional information is expected in the future, so we will be sure to keep you posted.
But for right now, if you have been donating convalescent plasma with OneBlood and get the COVID-19 vaccine, you will not be able to be a convalescent plasma donor. However, you can be a blood donor. It’s just that your plasma cannot be used to treat COVID-19 patients.
It’s important that people who are eligible to donate blood, platelets or convalescent plasma make it habit. By donating each time you are eligible you are helping ensure a ready supply is available at all times.