Red Cross hasn’t banned blood donation from vaccinated people

28 September 2021
What was claimed

The Red Cross says people vaccinated against Covid-19 cannot donate blood plasma because the vaccine wipes out antibodies.

Our verdict

False. The American Red Cross has stopped accepting donations of plasma containing Covid-19 antibodies from anyone as it has enough supply. It says people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 can still give blood.

A post on Instagram claims the Red Cross has said people vaccinated against Covid-19 are prohibited from donating blood for certain purposes as the vaccine “wipes out” some antibodies present in blood.

A video screenshotted in the post refers specifically to donations of convalescent plasma, containing antibodies which may help fight Covid-19 infection

This is false. The American Red Cross says: “There are claims circulating that incorrectly state that the Red Cross will not accept convalescent plasma donations from those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine.” It adds “This is not accurate.”

The American Red Cross says: “Historically, convalescent plasma has been used as a potentially lifesaving treatment in some situations when new diseases or infections develop quickly, and no treatments or vaccines were available yet.” 

It adds: “Due to the decline in hospital demand and because the Red Cross and our industry partners have been able to build a sufficient supply of convalescent plasma to meet the foreseeable needs of COVID-19 patients, the Red Cross stopped collecting convalescent plasma completely on June 14.”

The American Red Cross is still accepting blood donations from people who have been vaccinated.

NHS Blood and Transplant, the organisation which manages blood donation in England, says you can donate blood from seven days after being vaccinated. It says this is because “​​any side effects [from the vaccine] are unlikely to be confused with illness after donating.” 

If you suffer side effects from the vaccine, you must wait 28 days after recovering from them before you donate blood.  

NHS Blood and Transplant has also stopped collecting convalescent plasma as it claims the treatment showed no benefit in trials. 

We have fact checked false claims about giving blood after vaccination previously.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because it is not true that the Red Cross has stopped blood donations from people vaccinated against Covid-19.

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