Do I need an appointment?
In order to ensure proper staffing at our locations, appointments are strongly encouraged.
Do I have to wear a mask or face covering when I donate blood?
Yes. As of July 28, 2021, based on CDC’s latest guidance, San Diego Blood Bank will require staff, volunteers, donors, vendors, contractors, and visitors to wear a face covering*, whether they have been vaccinated or not, prior to entering our facilities/mobiles and while donating blood.
*“Face covering” means a surgical mask or a tightly woven fabric or non-woven material of at least two layers. A face covering has no visible holes or openings and must cover the nose and mouth. A face covering does not include a scarf, ski mask, balaclava, bandana, turtleneck, collar, or single layer of fabric.
Why did the mask policy change?
As of July 28, 2021, the level of community transmission in San Diego County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and Orange County is rated “high” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant. However, preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus to others. To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, CDC has updated their guidance for fully vaccinated people recommending wearing face coverings in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.
What safety measures are in place?
Donor and staff safety is of the utmost importance. We currently have several measures in place.
When can I donate blood if I got the vaccine?
The following COVID-19 vaccines are permitted without a deferral period: AstraZeneca, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Novavax and Pfizer. If you are unsure of the name of the COVID-19 vaccine or it is not listed, you will be deferred from donation for 14 days. Click here to learn more about donating after COVID-19 vaccination.
Can I donate blood if I'm unvaccinated against COVID-19?
Eligible donors can donate blood regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.
Can I donate blood if I’m a healthcare worker who received the vaccine?
Healthcare workers who have NOT had close contact with a known or suspected COVID-19 patient can donate blood.
For healthcare workers in close contact with COVID-19 patients, you can donate if:
Can I donate convalescent plasma if I receive the vaccine?
You are eligible to donate convalescent plasma after receiving a vaccine if:
Please sign up at SanDiegoBloodBank.org/donateplasma.
If I donate blood, will I be able to fight an infection later?
There is no research evidence that donating blood affects your ability to fight infection later. While white blood cells needed to fight infection slightly decrease after donation, abundant cells remain in the event of an infection. Furthermore, donated cells are regenerated post-donation.
Are recipients at risk of contracting COVID-19 through donated blood?
There is no known risk of contracting COVID-19 from blood transfusions. Respiratory viruses are not known to be transmitted by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported or suspected cases of transfusion transmission of this virus. Routine blood donor screening measures that are already in place should prevent individuals with clinical respiratory infections from donating blood. For example, blood donors must be in good health and have a normal temperature on the day of donation
Can I get COVID-19 by donating blood?
There is no inherent risk of getting COVID-19/coronavirus from donating blood. No measures can completely eliminate the risk of exposure; however, we have high standards in place to eliminate risk of exposure as much as possible.
Are you allowing for social distancing?
Our donor centers have 6-foot distancing at all stations. Staff, of course, will be near you at a few points during the normal donation process. Mobiles do not currently afford 6’ distancing. However, we are screening donors and staff prior to entry onto the bus. We are also cleaning all surfaces between donations.
What happens if someone donates without any symptoms and then becomes sick?
COVID-19 is not known to be transmissible by transfusion. SDBB regularly tracks cold and flu symptoms after donation. If you are diagnosed with or are suspected of having COVID-19 infection within the next 28 days, please contact SDBB at (800) 469-7322.
How else can I help?
Please consider volunteering to help ensure a healthy, safe and clean environment for our donors. Visit www.sandiegobloodbank.org/volunteers. You can also make a financial gift to support emergency preparedness such as freezer technology and critical supplies. Visit sandiegobloodbank.org/makeagift.
Visit our blog, www.sandiegobloodbank.org/covid19.