MUMBAI: Those who take the Covid-19 vaccine cannot donate blood for nearly two months. The National Blood Transfusion Council (NBTC) has recently released guidelines stating that one cannot donate blood from the day of taking the first dose of the vaccine till 28 days after the second dose.
Since there is a minimum gap of 28 days between the two doses, the period one cannot donate blood stretches up to a minimum of 57 days. The NBTC issued a notification on March 5, stating, “28 days post vaccination deferral after the last dose of Covid-19 vaccination, irrespective of the type of vaccine received”.
Dr Sunil Gupta, director of NBTC, told TOI a technical research group has taken the decision based on recommendations concerning blood donation and vaccination. “The group has studied the donation gap that exists after one is vaccinated with an inactivated as well as live attenuated virus and thought 28 days was a safe window,” he said, adding while none of the vaccines given in the country are live, the 28-day gap was decided since there have been reports of fever and body pain, among other post-vaccination effects.
Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine that contains the killed virus while Covishield is a recombinant vaccine that has a small piece of the virus DNA. A senior blood transfusion expert questioned the deferral period, saying if none were live vaccines, why stop people from donating blood.