What to know about coronavirus and blood donation

The Red Cross is following FDA blood donation eligibility guidance for those who receive a COVID-19 vaccination, and deferral times may vary depending on the type of vaccine an individual receives. But there’s no deferral time if you receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and blood donation please scroll down to the drop down category.

The American Red Cross has a constant and ongoing need for blood and platelet donations. With the ongoing pandemic, the Red Cross needs the help of blood and platelet donors and blood drive hosts to meet the needs of patient care.  Please schedule your next donation appointment now to help prevent another blood shortage.

The American Red Cross is testing all blood, platelet 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. We are committed to helping others in meaningful ways during this pandemic.

Donating blood products is essential to community health and the need for blood products is constant. As part of our nation’s critical infrastructure, healthy individuals can still donate in areas that have issued shelter in place declarations or are operating under a phased reopening plan. The Red Cross follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need. As hospitals resume surgical procedures and patient treatments that were temporarily paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, donors are urged to give now to ensure blood products are readily available for patients.

  • Red Cross Donation Safety Protocols

    The top priority of the Red Cross is the safety of our donors, volunteers, employees and blood recipients, and we are committed to transparency with the American public during this evolving public health emergency. There are no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmissible by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases worldwide of transmissions for any respiratory virus including this coronavirus.

    Donating blood products is essential to community health and eligible donors are strongly urged to donate now. The Red Cross only collects blood from individuals who are healthy and feeling well at the time of donation – and who meet other eligibility requirements.

    At each blood drive or donation center, Red Cross employees follow thorough safety protocols, including:·

    • Wearing gloves and changing them often
    • Wiping down donor-touched areas after every collection
    • Using sterile collection sets for every donation
    • Preparing the arm for donation with aseptic scrub
    • Conducting donor mini-physicals to ensure donors are healthy and well on day of donation

    We have also increased our vigilance concerning some of these safety protocols including:

    • Enhanced disinfecting of surfaces and equipment
    • Providing hand sanitizer for use before entering and throughout the donation appointment
    • Temperature checks before presenting donors enter the blood drive or donation center
    • Following social distancing practices between donors including donor beds, as well as waiting and refreshment areas
    • During this time, blankets typically used by platelet, Power Red and AB Elite donors at Red Cross blood donation centers will be laundered after each use, which may limit the availability. Donors are encouraged to bring their own blankets, but electric blankets and heating pads are not permitted.
    • Staff wearing basic face masks
    • For the safety of our donor community and in accordance with CDC guidelines, all donors are required to wear a face covering or mask. Please bring a face covering or mask to your donation. If you do not have one, a mask will be provided to you. In alignment with the CDC, the Red Cross does not permit valve face masks at our blood drives or donation centers for employees, volunteers or donors. Face shields can be worn in addition to face masks but not as a substitute.

    To ensure our staff are healthy each day, we have implemented standard staff health assessments prior to all blood drives.

    Finally, only eligible and healthy people are allowed to give blood.

    These mitigation measures will help ensure blood recipient safety, as well as staff and donor safety in reducing contact with those who may potentially have this respiratory infection.

    Book your next donation appointment for the days and weeks ahead to help ensure a sufficient blood supply for patients in need.

  • COVID-19 Vaccine and Blood Donor Eligibility Information

    The Red Cross is following FDA blood donation eligibility guidance for those who receive a COVID-19 vaccination, and deferral times may vary depending on the type of vaccine an individual receives. But there’s no deferral time if you receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. If you’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine, you’ll need to provide the manufacturer name when you come to donate. Upon vaccination, you should receive a card or printout indicating what COVID-19 vaccine was received, and we encourage you to bring that card with you to your next donation. The following eligibility guidelines apply to each COVID-19 vaccine received, including boosters:

    • There is no deferral time for eligible blood donors who are vaccinated with an inactivated or RNA based COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Moderna or Pfizer.
    • Eligible blood donors who are vaccinated with a replication defective virus COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca or Janssen/J&J must wait two weeks before giving blood.
    • Eligible blood donors who do not know what type of COVID-19 vaccine they received must wait four weeks before giving blood.
    • Individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine are not eligible to donate convalescent plasma.
    • Regardless of the type of vaccine an individual receives, all donors must be symptom free and feeling well at the time of donation. If an individual is experiencing any symptoms from the COVID-19 vaccine, the Red Cross asks that they postpone their donation until they are feeling better.
    • If you have an appointment scheduled and need to change your donation date based on the above guidance, click here» .
    • If you have further eligibility questions, please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).


    Please note: The Red Cross is not a healthcare provider and is not administering COVID-19 vaccinations. We encourage individuals interested in getting a COVID-19 vaccine to reach out to their healthcare provider.

  • Travel and Deferral Information

    The American Red Cross has implemented new blood donation deferrals out of an abundance of caution. We are now asking that individuals postpone their donation for 14 days following:

    • Diagnosis of COVID-19
    • You have had a positive diagnostic test for COVID-19 or you have had any symptoms of COVID-19

    As the situation evolves, the Red Cross will continue to evaluate all emerging risks in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and industry partners to determine if additional intervention strategies are needed. Together, we stand ready to keep the American public informed and prepared.

    If you are feeling healthy, please book a donation appointment now.

  • Limit The Spread of Germs and Prevent Infection

    There are common sense steps we can all take to prevent the spread of any respiratory virus:

    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and throw the tissue away after use. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
    • Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
    • Disinfect doorknobs, switches, handles, computers, telephones, bedside tables, bathroom sinks, toilets, counters, toys and other surfaces that are commonly touched around the home or workplace.
  • Where to find more information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Information for Fully Recovered Coronavirus (COVID-19) Patients

    Patients who have fully recovered following a COVID-19 diagnosis may have antibodies in their blood plasma that can help those with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections. Learn more about how recovered patients can help.

Original source: https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/dlp/coronavirus–covid-19–and-blood-donation.html