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Local blood donation centers issue critical blood shortage

Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 6:09 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. – As the state continues to bounce back from the pandemic, hospitals are returning to regular operations, the need for blood across the state is at an all-time high.

Local blood donation center Vitalant said donations are down to critical levels across three states, including North Dakota, South Dakota and the Minnesota region.

The Food and Drug Administration has put in place guidelines for those who choose to donate blood after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Those who have received a nonreplicating, inactivated, or mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine like Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen/Johnson& Johnson, Moderna or Novavax can donate blood without a waiting period.

Those who received a live attenuated Viral vaccine are being asked to wait for 14 days.

And anyone uncertain about which brand they received are advised to also wait the two weeks before donating.

Infectious Disease Specialist Health Dr. Noe Mateo said it is safe for a patient to relieve blood from a vaccinated donor even if they aren’t vaccinated.

“That antibody will have a neutral effect in someone who’s not infected. From a safety perspective whether you get blood form a person who’s previously COVID vaccinated or not should not matter,” said Mateo.

Vitalant said donations fell more than 4,000 short of the need in May and said they are also running short of the universal blood type O which can be given to any patient in an emergency.

Both Vitalant and the American Red Cross have their own guidelines for donations with or without the vaccine.

The guidelines for Vitalant can be found here, and you can schedule an appointment online here.

Minot’s American Red Cross guidelines can be found here, and you can find more on appointments here.

If you need help understanding the names and types of vaccines, consult with your physician.

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