Can I Request Unvaccinated Blood For Transfusion?

 For myself or my loved one in need? 

No. No you cannot. Are you going to request blood from the Flu unvaccinated? HPV? Hepatitis? TDap? No, just the COVID vaccine? 

COVID Vaccine and Blood

There is no way for a transfusion center Blood Bank to know the vaccination status of the donors behind the blood products on the shelf. When we receive the blood products in house it is understood, per contract, and up-to-date facility standards that the blood is tested for Trypanosoma cruzi, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, Human T-Lymphotropic virus (HTLV), Treponema pallidum (aka Syphilis), Zika virus, West Nile Virus, and Babesia. Individual blood centers may or may not test for the last three listed depending on geographical location or standard operating procedure. It is also possible that the blood center tests for CMV (Cytolomegalovirus). The Blood Bank does not receive a donor history form or any information about the donor whatsoever from the donation center. Additionally, it is extremely unlikely the Red Cross, or any other donation center would give up this information, as it is irrelevant and a violation of the donors medical privacy. 

The Red Cross, for example, does not routinely test blood products for COVID, nor does it routinely test plasma for antibodies to COVID, likely as a result of increased vaccination rates, widespread COVID infection rates, and decreased need for convalescent plasma. 

The only real way to assuredly get "COVID unvaccinated" blood products would be to set up a directed donation process in which the recipient chooses a person to donate blood for them if they were to require blood products. Directed Donation is very uncommon and usually requires a consult with a Transfusion Medicine physician prior to entertaining the process. There are many reasons why Directed Donation is not recommended (possibly another post about this). Choosing blood products from the random donor pool on a Blood Bank's shelf is generally regarding as safer than choosing Directed Donation. A Pathologist would likely, in kind terms, try to almost... talk people out of Directed Donation. Several times a year we have patient's family members looking to do a Directed Donation. After consulting with a Blood Bank physician, it almost NEVER happens. 

Also, if you're receiving Red Blood Cells, there's no vaccine in this product anyway. Any antibody or other protein that you're afraid of would be in the plasma, the liquid portion of blood. 


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