Claim: COVID-19 vaccine recipients can not donate blood or plasma
Source: Online platforms
Researched by Gifty Tracy Aminu
A News article with the headline – “Red Cross is warning all Americans that Covid-vaccinated humans are ineligible for donating plasma” – is circulating on WhatsApp in Ghana.
According to the article published by a blogger, the warning is an admission from American Red Cross that “the COVID-19 vaccines wipe out any natural antibodies that any person’s body has created to fight Covid-19 or its variants, so those people cannot help others fighting and/or dying from the China flu.”
The article further claimed that COVID-19 vaccines render the plasma useless after wiping out the antibodies of the vaccinated persons.
“So, if America were to reach the 100 per cent vaccinated goal that the tyrannical government wants to reach so badly, then there would be nobody left who could donate plasma, blood or organs to anyone ever again, including their own offspring or family members with the same blood type,” it also said.
But how factual is this article? This fact-check report will seek to verify the claim.
GhanaFact found that blogging website Senahsite sourced the article from naturalnews.com – a platform that regularly publishes conspiracy theories, misinformation and disinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines.
Meanwhile, the American Red Cross has debunked the claim that COVID-19 vaccine recipients cannot donate blood or plasma.
“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 because the vaccine wipes out those antibodies making the convalescent plasma ineffective in treating other COVID-19 patients,” the humanitarian organisation said on its website.
Here are further clarifications to some lingering questions provided by the American Red Cross.
Are individuals who received a COVID-19 vaccine eligible to give blood, platelets and plasma?
“Yes, you can donate blood after getting a COVID-19 vaccine, as long as you are symptom-free and feeling well at the time of the donation,” Red Cross has said.
However, “please come prepared to share the manufacturer name of the vaccine you received. If you do not know the name of the vaccine manufacturer, we request you wait two weeks to donate after vaccination, out of precaution,” the association indicated.
Are individuals who received a COVID-19 vaccine eligible to give COVID-19 convalescent plasma?
The US Food and Drug Administration allows people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine to donate dedicated COVID-19 convalescent plasma within six months of their infection of the virus, based on data that antibodies from natural infection can decline after six months, however, the Red Cross has discontinued our convalescent plasma collection program.
Explaining this, the association said, “throughout the pandemic, the Red Cross has adapted its collection of lifesaving products to meet the needs of all patients including COVID-19 patients. 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.”
Does giving blood after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine reduce a donor’s protection from the virus?
Donating blood after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine does not reduce a donor’s protection from the virus. Similar to other vaccines such as measles, mumps or influenza, the COVID-19 vaccine is designed to generate an immune response to help protect an individual from illness. A donor’s immune response is not impacted by giving blood.
What is the difference between plasma donation and convalescent plasma donation?
Plasma donation and COVID-19 convalescent plasma donation are different.
- Plasma has been collected and transfused since the 1940s to help patients being treated for a number of medical reasons, including burns, shock, trauma and other injuries and illnesses.
- Convalescent plasma is plasma that contains high levels of specific antibodies that might help fight a specific infection—in this case, COVID-19 antibodies.
Historically, convalescent plasma has been used as a potentially life-saving treatment in some situations when new diseases or infections develop quickly, and no treatments or vaccines were available yet.
The claim that COVID-19 vaccine recipients cannot donate blood or plasma is rated FALSE.