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What the COVID-19 Vaccination means for Blood Donors

Blood donors are our very own frontline team – you are absolutely essential to maintaining the health of all Australians. That’s why, to safeguard our blood supply, we encourage you to get vaccinated when you can.

As a precaution, donors need to wait 7-days after receiving each COVID-19 vaccine before donating blood, plasma, or platelets. This wait time applies to all COVID-19 vaccinations, regardless of which vaccine you receive.

Regular donors may remember that you can donate immediately after receiving a flu vaccine, so you may be wondering what’s different about the COVID-19 vaccine? In a sense, the flu vaccine is the exception to the rule as different vaccines will require different wait times. Take Hepatitis B for instance, this common vaccine requires a 2 week wait before you can donate. The reason you need to wait 7-days after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, is that it may cause minor side effects such as a mild fever. As these side effects usually resolve themselves after a few days, you should be feeling fit and healthy to donate once a week has passed. Are COVID-19 vaccines safe? | Australian Government Department of Health

We need all blood donors to be feeling fit and well when they give blood or plasma, and we don’t allow anyone with a fever to donate as part of our regular rules. Donors who donate when they’re not feeling 100 per cent can be at an increased risk of experiencing an adverse reaction, such as fainting, during or after their donation.

Up to 80 per cent of Australians are expected to get the COVID-19 vaccine during 2021. This means up to 400,000 donors will be temporarily unable to donate. Because you are such a diverse group, and the vaccine roll-out is estimated to take a number of months, there should always be enough donors eligible to give. But you can help us plan ahead. 

Once you know your vaccination date, please consider giving blood in the days before it, or booking your donation a full week after, so that you aren’t turned away on the day.

This will help us minimise the number of appointments affected, and ensure we continue to supply much needed blood products for grateful patients across Australia.

If you’d like more information about how the COVID-19 vaccine relates to donating blood, visit Coronavirus Information Lifeblood