The need for blood and platelets is constant.
The need for blood and platelets is constant.
You may still donate blood, platelets or plasma after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine is important in determining your blood donation eligibility. To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and blood donation, please scroll down to the drop-down category.
The Red Cross follows a high standard of safety and infection control. Donors are no longer required to wear a face mask, but the Red Cross will adhere to more stringent face mask requirements per state and/or local guidance, or at the request of our blood drive sponsors. See more about our safety protocols below.
Because volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need, donors are urged to give now to ensure blood products are readily available for patients.
The Red Cross follows a high standard of safety and infection control, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need. As hospitals resume surgical procedures and patient treatments that were temporarily paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, donors are urged to give now to ensure blood products are readily available for patients.
"We need people to start turning out in full force to give blood." That urgent call-to-action coming from Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the US Food and Drug Administration's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), as fear about the coronavirus is keeping people from wanting to donate blood.
Red Cross Donation Safety Protocols
The top priority of the Red Cross is the safety of our donors, volunteers, employees and blood recipients, and we are committed to transparency with the American public during this evolving public health emergency. There are no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmissible by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases worldwide of transmissions for any respiratory virus including this coronavirus.
The Red Cross only collects blood from individuals who are healthy and feeling well at the time of donation – and who meet other eligibility requirements.
At each blood drive or donation center, Red Cross employees follow thorough safety protocols, including:
- Wearing gloves and changing them often
- Wiping down donor-touched areas after every collection
- Using sterile collection sets for every donation
- Preparing the arm for donation with aseptic scrub
- Conducting donor mini-physicals to ensure donors are healthy and well on day of donation
We have also increased our vigilance concerning some of these safety protocols including:
- Enhanced disinfecting of surfaces and equipment
- Providing hand sanitizer for use before entering and throughout the donation appointment
- Following social distancing practices between donors including donor beds, as well as waiting and refreshment areas
- During this time, blankets typically used by platelet, Power Red and AB Elite donors at Red Cross blood donation centers will be laundered after each use, which may limit the availability. Donors are encouraged to bring their own blankets, but electric blankets and heating pads are not permitted.
- The Red Cross follows a high standard of safety and infection control and will continue to socially distance wherever possible at our blood drives, donation centers and facilities. While donors are no longer required to wear a face mask, individuals may choose to continue to wear a mask for any reason. The Red Cross will also adhere to more stringent face mask requirements per state and/or local guidance, or at the request of our blood drive sponsors.
To ensure our staff are healthy each day, we have implemented standard staff health assessments prior to all blood drives.
Finally, only eligible and healthy people are allowed to give blood.
These mitigation measures will help ensure blood recipient safety, as well as staff and donor safety in reducing contact with those who may potentially have this respiratory infection.
Book your next donation appointment for the days and weeks ahead to help ensure a sufficient blood supply for patients in need.
COVID-19 Vaccine and Blood Donor Eligibility Information
The Red Cross is following FDA blood donation eligibility guidance for those who receive a COVID-19 vaccination, and deferral times may vary depending on the type of vaccine an individual receives. If you’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine, you’ll need to provide the manufacturer name when you come to donate. Upon vaccination, you should receive a card or printout indicating what COVID-19 vaccine was received, and we encourage you to bring that card with you to your next donation. In most cases, there is no deferral time for individuals who received a COVID-19 vaccine as long as they are symptom free and feeling well at the time of donation. The following eligibility guidelines apply to each COVID-19 vaccine received, including boosters:
- There is no deferral time for eligible blood donors who are vaccinated with an inactivated or RNA based COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca, Janssen/J&J, Moderna, Novavax, or Pfizer.
- Eligible blood donors who received a live attenuated COVID-19 vaccine or do not know what type of COVID-19 vaccine they received must wait two weeks before giving blood.
- If you have an appointment scheduled and need to change your donation date based on the above guidance, click here.
- If you have further eligibility questions, please call 1-800-RED CROSS.
Please note: The Red Cross, as an organization, is not a healthcare provider and is not administering COVID-19 vaccinations in the U.S. However, Red Cross volunteers who are medical professionals may work with local authorities to help give vaccinations if their state licenses permit them to do so. In addition, Red Cross teams are currently helping to vaccinate U.S. service members on bases around the world.
Travel and Deferral Information
The American Red Cross has implemented new blood donation deferrals out of an abundance of caution. We are now asking that individuals postpone their donation for 10 days following:
- Diagnosis of COVID-19
- You have had a positive diagnostic test for COVID-19 or you have had any symptoms of COVID-19
As the situation evolves, the Red Cross will continue to evaluate all emerging risks in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and industry partners to determine if additional intervention strategies are needed. Together, we stand ready to keep the American public informed and prepared.
If you are feeling healthy, please book a donation appointment now.
Limit The Spread Of Germs and Prevent Infection
There are common sense steps we can all take to prevent the spread of any respiratory virus:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and throw the tissue away after use. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
- Disinfect doorknobs, switches, handles, computers, telephones, bedside tables, bathroom sinks, toilets, counters, toys and other surfaces that are commonly touched around the home or workplace.
Where To Find More Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Sign up to receive information about COVID-19 and blood donations.
- For the latest information, please visit the CDC website and Ready.Gov.
- If you live outside the United States, health and safety tips can be found through the World Health Organization.