Fact Finders: Do blood banks sort blood based on COVID-19 vaccination status?

Blood banks across the country are asking for donations
Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 9:57 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Blood banks across the country are asking for donations after the recent winter storm depleted supplies.

Our Fact Finders question this week is related to blood donations; “Are blood donations in the U.S. sorted by a person’s COVID-19 vaccination status?”

The Red Cross tells KY3 it does NOT require you to be vaccinated or unvaccinated to donate blood. They explained, “blood is tested to ensure its safety based on FDA requirements and then provided to medical facilities for their use. Every unit of blood is tested to identify the donor’s blood group (O, A, B or AB) and Rh type, and screened for atypical or unusual red cell antibodies.”

The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks also does not separate blood based on who’s vaccinated against COVID-19 and who isn’t vaccinated.

“I don’t know of any blood center that is separating blood based on vaccine status. It has been determined based on all of our regulatory agencies, the FDA, the ABB, that it’s not recommended or required to separate blood based on vaccine status. And that is because it doesn’t pose a harm to transfusion recipients. And furthermore, it’s not even..., the vaccine is not present in the blood,” explained the medical director for CBCO Dr. Frances Compton.

CBCO also told us, “A blood donation will help sick and injured patients, no matter the vaccination status of the donor.”

The FDA in a recent media release gave this advice on blood donation and COVID-19 vaccination, “individuals who received a nonreplicating, inactivated, or mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine can donate blood without a waiting period.” To read the entire document, click here.

So, for the question, are blood donations in the U.S. sorted by a person’s COVID-19 vaccination status? The answer is NO.

If you have something you want us to investigate, email us at factfinders@ky3.com.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com

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