CARTERSVILLE, GA. (May 19, 2021) — Blood Assurance, the local blood provider, says they are receiving a lot of questions about blood donation from newly vaccinated potential donors. They want everyone to know that you can donate after you have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We have been receiving a lot of calls about a deferral period for COVID-19 vaccines,” said Dr. Liz Culler, medical director at Blood Assurance. “There is no deferral period for COVID-19 vaccines unless you were part of a clinical trial or received a vaccine that is not approved in the United States. You can donate if you are vaccinated and truth is we really need you right now!”
There are many misconceptions about various reasons one can be disqualified from giving blood, with the COVID-19 vaccine just being the most recent. Some of the most common things people think disqualify them from giving blood are tattoos, diabetes, and cancer. Dr Liz says, “Most cancers don’t defer you from giving as long as you have been in remission for a year, tattoos usually have no deferral after healing and diabetics can give as long as long as their diabetes is well controlled.”
Another common reason many think disqualifies them is having lived in a Mad Cow exposed area in the 1980s and 90s, but that restriction has been mostly lifted. Before this year many potential donors were permanently deferred for living in or being stationed in these areas. After the CDC updated their guidelines, Blood Assurance was able to accept these donors again. Donors can receive more information on eligibility regarding Mad Cow Disease at bloodassurance.org/cjd.
Blood Assurance highly encourages anyone thinking about donating who has previously thought they are ineligible to please call them, message their website, or check out their FAQ. Potential donors can call 800-962-0628 to check eligibility or send a private message and view the FAQ at their website at bloodassurance.org.
Blood Assurance is still experiencing low donor turnout and has been in critical need of several types consistently over the past year, especially type O. Blood Assurance is currently offering a $20 Amazon gift card to all type O donors for a limited time to encourage donations. Blood Assurance donors who give twice in 2021 are also entered to win a side-by-side vehicle.
Blood Assurance is continuing to take extra precautions at this time to ensure the safety of donors and staff. Masks are no longer required to be worn by vaccinated donors unless the location of the blood drive specifically requires them.
To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids — avoiding caffeine — and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating. To schedule an appointment or find a center or drive near you, please visit www.bloodassurance.org/schedule, call 800-962-0628 or text ‘BAGIVE’ to 999777.
About Blood Assurance
Blood Assurance is a nonprofit, full-service regional blood center serving more than 70 health care facilities in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, and Kentucky. Founded in 1972 as a joint effort of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society, the Chattanooga Area Hospital Council and the Chattanooga Jaycees, the mission of Blood Assurance is to provide a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood components to every area patient in need.