After a vaccination of any kind, there is often a waiting period, called a temporary deferral, before you can donate blood or plasma. The right to donate blood is one of the important questions that is asked when implementing a new vaccine, because of the necessity to maintain a sufficient blood supply for any urgent case ; as well as the need for the blood to be in good condition when donating.

Japan recently adopted guidelines for accepting blood donations from those who have received COVID-19 vaccines, and they decided that before donating blood, donors had to wait at least 48 hours to get over any side effects from the vaccine. Unfortunately, this information was distorted by a facebook post claiming that “JAPAN refuses blood donations from any who received shot/s! Wow… What’s that tell you?!” Japan, where the Covid death rate is relatively low and the sense of urgency weaker than in Europe, already has a certain number of vaccine-skepticists. This distorted Facebook post only made it worse, and even spread accross the US – when in reality, it is a completely false claim that needs to be corrected.

In Europe, in a majority of cases – but depending on the country and the vaccine – it is possible to donate blood after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine without any deferral period. However, it is recommended to wait a few days, for the same reasons as in Japan, and to ask the advice of a health professional beforehand. In Swiss, blood donation is only allowed 2 days after being vaccinated. In the case of vaccination outside the EU or in the case of a vaccine trial, a 28-day waiting period must be respected before donating blood.

Find more informations about donating blood after the vaccine here (in French).