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Blood Institute: It's Safe To Donate After Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine

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Around one in three Oklahomans has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and while that’s good news, blood donations have dropped off as more and more people get the shots.

Oklahoma Blood Institute President and CEO Dr. John Armitage said that hasn’t changed the donation process. It still comes down to the first question asked to all donors: Are you feeling healthy and well today?

"So, if you can say ‘yes’ to that, then you are eligible. There’s nothing in the vaccine itself that prevents you from being eligible. The FDA has set the rules on this, and they see it as safe," Armitage said.

OBI Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tuan Le concurred.

"Regardless if it’s the Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson version, there is no need to wait to donate blood after you receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and we encourage you to come in and donate with us when you feel well," Le said.

Armitage said the blood supply is stable because many longstanding donors came in after February’s winter storms, but they can't help at the moment with donations in a post-spring break lull.

"Some of our very most committed, most dedicated donors are in their eight-week deferral period. So, we’re struggling a little bit now and could certainly use the help," Armitage said.

Appointments can be scheduled online at obi.org. Blood can also be donated to the Red Cross. Information is available at redcrossblood.org.

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