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VERIFY: You can donate blood, but not convalescent plasma, after getting COVID-19 vaccine

People who get one of the COVID-19 vaccines may not be able to donate convalescent plasma, at least for a while, but donating regular source plasma is still okay.
Credit: VERIFY

Editor's note: The headline on this story has been updated to note you can still donate regular source plasma after getting a COVID-19 vaccine, but not convalescent plasma - which is specifically meant to treat coronavirus patients.  

A VERIFY viewer asked the team if someone would “still be able to donate plasma after getting the covid vaccine?”

Convalescent plasma treatments allow doctors to take plasma from someone who already had COVID-19 and transfer their antibodies to a patient who recently contracted the virus.

THE QUESTION:

Can someone donate convalescent plasma after getting the COVID-19 vaccine? 

THE ANSWER:

No. Due to the vaccines being new, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has stated that vaccine recipients should not be convalescent plasma donors for now.

It's important to note that this guidance only applies to convalescent plasma donations that are specifically meant to help treat COVID patients.

Regular plasma, often called "source plasma," can still be donated.

As of the writing of this article, blood donations from recent vaccine recipients were still being accepted.

SOURCES:

The VERIFY team checked with the American Red Cross, the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), the FDA and Dr. Shmuel Shoham, an Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

WHAT WE FOUND:

The latest update from the AABB and FDA states that people who receive a vaccine can still donate blood but not plasma.

“You should not collect COVID-19 convalescent plasma from individuals who have received an investigational COVID-19 vaccine because of the uncertainty regarding the quality of the immune response produced by such investigational vaccines,” the document says.

A representative from the American Red Cross told VERIFY that “individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine are not eligible to donate convalescent plasma.”

As for blood donations, they wrote that, “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 live attenuate 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.”

Dr. Shmuel Shoham, Associate Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins, explained that the restrictions on plasma donations could change in the future. He said deferring donations right now is likely a temporary precaution as they do further testing. "I think it should be a priority to find that out because people that have had the vaccine could potentially be an important source of plasma,” he said.

RELATED: VERIFY: New COVID-19 vaccines won't cause you to be infectious

RELATED: VERIFY: AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine does not use fetal cells

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