Our guest columnist is Chris Lough, MD, vice president of Medical Services at LifeSouth, the blood provider for Baptist Health.
Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood.
Over the last year, however, blood banks across the nation have struggled to keep up with the demand. Though COVID-19 hospitalized an unprecedented number of people, the increased need for blood donations stems from something we’ve all become familiar with: canceled plans.
Throughout the pandemic, LifeSouth Community Blood Centers and other local blood banks had to postpone countless blood drives. As more people get vaccinated and the number of new infections drops, now is the time to roll up your sleeve to give blood, even if you’ve already done so to get the vaccine.
You may have questions before scheduling a donation appointment. These are some of the most common ones we get:
- Can I give blood if I have received the vaccine? Yes. There is no risk for those who have received one of the vaccines that are currently available. As long as you are feeling healthy and well, and you meet the history and physical requirements, you can donate.
- Is it safe to receive blood from a donor who has gotten the vaccine? Yes. Blood from vaccinated donors is safe and all blood donations undergo thorough testing prior to distribution. Research is still underway to determine whether COVID-19 antibodies can be transferred through blood.
- How long do I have to wait after receiving the vaccine to donate blood? If you received the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you can donate at any time. If you are participating in a clinical trial for another manufacturer or receive a shot from a different company in the future, we suggest waiting two weeks.
- Can I donate if I’ve only had one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine? Yes, you can donate whole blood, plasma and platelets.
Blood donation offers an immediate way to give back to your community and support public health. We encourage all eligible donors to make an appointment as soon as possible to ensure blood is on the shelves for patients when they need it.
At Baptist Health, we want to help keep our community informed about COVID-19. For information about COVID-19 vaccines, visit baptistjax.com/covid19vaccine. To learn more about donation eligibility, find a donor center or blood drive near you, and book an appointment to donate, visit LifeSouth.org.