The FDA provides details on how COVID-19 infection or vaccination against the virus affects a waiting period to donate. Please share the information with your patients.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued on February 20, 2021, updated information for establishments that oversee blood donation.
The update stresses that there have been no reported cases of transfusion-transmitted SARS-CoV-2 virus worldwide, and that respiratory viruses, in general, are not known to be transmitted this way.
"We need people to start turning out in full force to give blood," said Peter Marks, MD, PhD, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER). The concern stems from the increased variability the Red Cross has seen in blood donation during the COVID-19 pandemic, as fear about virus spread keeps people from wanting to engage in the process of donating.
The information on if and when blood can be donated by persons who have been infected with COVID-19 or have been vaccinated against the virus could be valuable for physicians to share with patients. The Red Cross encourages educating the public. The FDA explains, below.
Donors Must Meet Established Donor Eligibility Criteria. Donors must be in good health with normal temperature on donation day.
Diagnosed, Suspected, Symptomatic. Any person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, is suspected of having the virus, and who had symptomatic disease should delay donating blood.
No Symptoms, Positive Test. Any person who has had a positive test for COVID-19, even if they are not symptomatic, must wait at least 14 days after the positive test result to donate.
Antibody Test Positive, No Viral Test, No Symptoms. Individuals who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, but who did not have prior diagnostic testing & never developed symptoms, can donate without a waiting period and without performing a diagnostic test.
mRNA, Please Donate. Live-attenuated, Please Wait. Individuals who received a nonreplicating, inactivated, or mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine can donate blood without a waiting period, while those who received a live-attenuated viral COVID-19 vaccine,* should wait 14 days before donating.
NOTE: There are currently no live-attenuated COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use.