Vaccinations and donations: LifeSouth addresses common questions
As the COVID-19 vaccination effort continues to roll out, LifeSouth Community Blood Centers urges all eligible donors to help support the local blood supply. Blood donations are still needed every day as blood banks across the nation feel the impact after months of cancelled or postponed blood drives due to the pandemic.
Following recent expansions of vaccine eligibility criteria, LifeSouth has received an influx of questions regarding how the vaccines impact the blood donation process.
“The blood supply could be at risk if eligible donors aren’t aware that they can safely give blood after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Chris Lough, Vice President of Medical Services for LifeSouth. “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 local hospitals when they need it most.”
A few of the most common questions LifeSouth has received in recent weeks include:
- Am I eligible to donate blood if I have received the vaccine? Yes. There is no risk for blood donation following receipt of the currently available vaccines. As long as you are feeling healthy and well, and you meet the history and physical requirements for blood donation, you can donate. For a full list of eligibility requirements, visit lifesouth.org.
- Is it safe to receive blood from a donor who has received the vaccine? Yes, blood from donors who have received the vaccine is safe. All blood donations undergo thorough testing prior to distribution to local hospitals.
- How long do I have to wait after receiving the vaccine before I can donate blood? If you received the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine, there is no deferral period for blood donation. If you can’t remember or it was another manufacturer, there is a two-week deferral.
- 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.
- Where can I go to donate? LifeSouth’s donor centers are located in Montgomery, Dothan and Opelika and open 7 days a week. Donors can also look for LifeSouth’s signature red, white and blue bloodmobile around the community for a convenient, quick donation or visit Lifesouth.org to find blood drives.
LifeSouth provides blood for many local hospitals, including major hospitals such as Baptist Medical Centers South-East and Prattville, Jackson Hospital, East Alabama Medical Center, Flowers Hospital, Southeast Health. All eligible donors are encouraged to give blood as soon as possible.
To learn more about donation eligibility, find a donor center or blood drive near you and book an appointment to donate, visit LifeSouth.org.