What to know if you're vaccinated and want to donate blood

Posted at 6:51 AM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 08:23:56-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — If you’ve been vaccinated, you can still donate blood but you do have to wait for two full days after your shot.

Dr. Dan Waxman VP of Transfusion Medicine and Senior Medical Director at Versitisays the only reason for that is to make sure you’re not experiencing any side effects from the vaccine before you donate blood.

“There's nothing that a vaccinated donor could transmit to a patient,” says Waxman.

That’s because the vaccines do not contain a live virus.

“This is a vaccine that is not going to harm someone who is going to be receiving blood from a donor who's been vaccinated. Because these vaccines make people develop antibodies, and those antibodies fight off COVID. So there's nothing that a vaccinated donor could transmit to a patient,” says Waxman.

So if you’d like to donate, vaccinated or not it’s important to make sure you’ve been symptom free for 14 days. Although, Waxman says the process itself as far as they know, poses no risk of spreading Coronavirus.

“We know it's a respiratory disease. People get that way. But there have been no cases where it's been transmitted in blood.”

Now, with more people getting vaccinated and as we head into summer, families are starting to travel again, which unfortunately means even less people are going to donate.

“Just in the first part of this year, first quarter, our mobile collections are down some 40,000 units across Versiti’s five states,” says Waxman.

A life changing amount, all due to the pandemic.

“We have for the last year been very limited on where we can draw donors, normally 20-30% of all donors are coming from high schools and universities, and we just never have had access to them,” says Waxman.

According to Virsiti, one in every seven people entering the hospital will need blood. And right now they need all blood types.

If you’d like to donate blood here in Michigan, here’s what you need to know.

There is no upper age limit to donate and you can be as young as 16 years old with parental permission, you must be at least 110 pounds and you can also donate blood every eight weeks.

If you’d like to host a blood drive or want more information visit Virsiti.