According to a report from the Daily Beast, the anti-vaxxer movement is now having a meltdown over the fact that blood banks are accepting blood from people who have had their COVID-19 vaccination shots and they are spreading unfounded rumors that receiving the blood could be dangerous.
As with many conspiracy rumors, the latest wave of attacks on vaccines is coming from a far-right Facebook page where the anti-vax crowd is whipping up the hysteria that the vaccines may be more dangerous than the coronavirus that is still sweeping the country.
Among the comments reported by the Beast’s Daniel Modlin, was one person wrote, “There are people donating blood after being shot up with the covid crap. This terrifies me.”
Another added, “Are people that stupid to donate blood after getting a shot?”
In an interview with the Beast, one member of the group who wrote, “In the future ONLY the vaccinated will be able to give blood. Think I am joking? Just watch,” and then said is meant to be tongue in cheek, said their worries are that COVID-19 isn’t that dangerous while the newly-developed vaccines represent a great unknown.
“We know the health risk of COVID pretty well now,” Nick Savoy of Houston said. “We don’t know those from the vaccine. It might be minimal. However, unknowns rank higher in my risk ranking.”
As the Beast’s Modlin wrote, “While there are typically deferral periods for donating blood after receiving a vaccination for diseases like rubella, measles, and chicken pox, in most cases there is no such period for people who received the COVID-19 vaccine as long as they are feeling well. As a precaution when donating, potential donors must provide their vaccine manufacturer’s name. If they cannot, they are instructed to wait two weeks before donating,” before adding, “Regardless, anti-vaxxers believe without evidence that the lack of a deferral period—and in some more extreme cases, allowing the vaccinated to donate blood at all—is a backdoor to genetic modification.”
According to Dr. Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the University of Pennsylvania, the anti-vaxxers are letting fears of getting shots override the science.
“Vaccinations and transfusions are frightening to people who don’t understand them or don’t trust the science behind them,” she explained.
Dr. Brittany Kmush, an assistant professor of public health at Syracuse University agreed.
“The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are not live vaccines,” she noted. “The reason we have deferral periods for donating blood after receiving a live, attenuated vaccine is because… in immunocompromised people, even a weakened virus could potentially be dangerous. And since people who are receiving transfusions are typically immunocompromised, there’s a two-week window for added safety.”
Dr. Alyssa Ziman, the chief of transfusion medicine for UCLA Health added that, as Modlin reported, “There is no evidence that the novel coronavirus can be transmitted via blood transfusion.”
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