Essentia Health's infectious disease specialist: "vaccinated blood differentiation is unwarranted"

Image by American Red Cross
Image by American Red Cross

(Fargo, ND) -- An infectious disease specialist with Essentia Health is talking about blood donated by people who have received the Covid-19 vaccine, versus blood donated by those who have not taken the shot. 

"People should not be afraid and I think this whole theory of unvaccinated and vaccinated blood differentiation is unwarranted and we should all push back against it," said Dr. Bertha Ayi. 

Dr. Bertha Ayi says she is aware of one local patient in need of a transfusion who has requested to receive donated blood from a non-vaccinated person. Ayi says Essentia Health does not recognize such differences in donated blood, but says the hospital would try to accommodate patient preferences.

"We screen blood for infections that can cause a risk but in the case of vaccinated blood, or somebody who has received (the) Covid-19 vaccine, there is no objective evidence to prove that there is something or dangerous about receiving that blood," said Ayi. 

Local and national representatives for the American Red Cross turned down interview requests from WDAY News First on the topic of blood donated by vaccinated individuals. However, the agency's regional representative Lynette Nyman provided a written statement.  

"COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States present no known risk to the safety of the blood supply or to patients receiving a blood transfusion. As such, the FDA does not require the Red Cross and other blood collectors to test or label blood products for donor vaccination status." 

Original Air Date: 
Friday, January 20, 2023