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American Red Cross Website Says Vaccinated People ‘Cannot Donate Convalescent Plasma’

The American Red Cross is insisting that individuals who have received the COVID-19 jab “are not able to donate convalescent plasma.”

The Red Cross’ own website claims that while the organization is “working as quickly as possible to evaluate this change,” it is not accepting blood donations from certain vaccinated people at this time.

On the site, one headline asks the question, “Can I donate COVID-19 convalescent plasma if I have received the vaccination?” Here’s their answer:

“At this time individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine are not able to donate convalescent plasma with the Red Cross. The Red Cross is working as quickly as possible to evaluate this change – as it may involve complex system updates. Please know, the Red Cross is committed to building a readily available inventory of convalescent plasma to ensure patients battling COVID-19 have all treatment options available to them.”

Here’s the screenshot from redcrossblood.org:

Screenshot from redcorssblood.org taken on May 21, 2021.

On another page, redcrossblood.org says again, “Individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine are not able to donate convalescent plasma with the Red Cross.”

Screenshot from redcrassblood.org taken on May 21, 2021.

The Mayo Clinic—recognized as the No. 1 hospital overall and top-ranked hospitals in twelve specialties by U.S. News & World Report—explains what convalescent plasma is:

“Convalescent plasma therapy uses blood from people who’ve recovered from an illness to help others recover.”

In other words, blood is considered “convalescent” if it comes from an individual who contracted an illness but who has recovered from that illness. As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states, “Convalescent refers to anyone recovering from a disease.”

The Mayo Clinic goes on to explain that “Blood donated by people who’ve recovered from COVID-19 has antibodies to the virus that causes it,” adding that “[t]he donated blood is processed to remove blood cells, leaving behind liquid (plasma) and antibodies. These can be given to people with COVID-19 to boost their ability to fight the virus.”

Therefore, the Red Cross’ statement that “individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine are not able to donate convalescent plasma” does not mean that their organization considers all blood from anyone who has been vaccinated to be tainted (as some have claimed). But it does mean that the Red Cross’ website confirms that a certain group of individuals cannot donate their blood specifically because they’ve received the COVID “vaccine.”

A recent Reuters report confirms this:

“The American Red Cross’ current policy is to only accept convalescent plasma donations from people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have not had the vaccine. Although, if plasma donated by people vaccinated against COVID-19 has a high-level of COVID-19 antibodies it may be used as convalescent plasma.”

A March publication from The Washington Post also confirms this:

“Those who have been vaccinated can also donate platelets and AB Elite plasma to the Red Cross, but the organization is not accepting convalescent plasma from people who have taken a vaccine.”

But why is the American Red Cross refusing convalescent blood plasma from these vaccinated individuals?

The Red Cross’ “Merrill” told Lead Stories via telephone on April 12 of this year that “The FDA has outlined a very complicated qualification process. It would require the Red Cross to make a series of updates to our system. We are trying to evaluate the feasibility of implementing it, how long it would take to update it as well as the hospital demand for convalescent plasma.”

Lead Stories linked to an FDA webpage, which indicates that such convalescent plasma is not “approved.”

“Because convalescent plasma for the treatment of COVID-19 has not yet been approved for use by FDA, it is regulated as an investigational product,” reads the FDA webpage.

But the FDA page linked by Lead Stories does not indicate why it is that specifically vaccinated, COVID-recovered individuals cannot donate blood. In fact, the word ‘vaccine’ only appears one (1) time in the over 1,500-word article and only in reference to how “investigational convalescent plasma is collected,” not why such vaccinated individuals cannot donate their blood plasma.

It is at this time unclear why the American Red Cross and FDA are refusing convalescent blood plasma donations from these COVID-recovered, vaccinated individuals.

Jon Fleetwood is Managing Editor for American Faith.