Red Cross: Okay to donate blood in between vaccine jabs
Singapore Red Cross wants to maintain healthy blood stock levels
Countries such as South Korea, Thailand, France and Russia are in the throes of a grim fight with Covid-19 while also bogged down by another problem - a severe shortage of blood donors because of vaccinations.
In South Korea, donors cannot give blood for seven days after a Covid-19 vaccine jab.
In Russia, the deferral period is one month. Russians are also not permitted to donate blood if they are in the middle of a Covid-19 vaccination cycle.
While some countries grapple with a slump in blood donor activity, the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) said the blood stock level here is healthy.
The SRC hopes donors will continue to make regular blood donation a priority.
"This is to ensure we are able to maintain the blood stock at healthy levels at all times, including during a pandemic," it added.
Singaporeans who wish to donate blood can do so a week after their vaccination if they do not experience any side effects.
If muscle ache or pain is felt after their jab, they can make their contribution a week after the side effects resolve.
If post-jab side effects include fever, generalised muscle aches, rashes or lymph node swelling, Singaporeans are advised to wait four weeks after the effects have gone to donate blood.
The public can also donate blood in between vaccination doses and do not need to complete the second dose before doing so, said SRC.
Patients, regardless of their vaccination status, can receive blood from donors, said the Health Sciences Authority (HSA).
The authority added that it does not categorise blood donations according to the type of vaccine received.
Regular donor Monish Peswani, 38, received his vaccination doses in March and April, and it did not stop him from donating blood.
The public servant, who has made 162 blood donations as of July, said: "My parents have always been frequent blood donors. So, like them, I make it a point to donate blood regularly, even during the course of my vaccination."
There are different types of blood donation, and after making his few first blood donations at the age of 18, Mr Peswani decided to donate platelets, which helps leukaemia and cancer patients. Called apheresis donation, donating platelets can be done monthly while whole blood donations can be done every three months.
The deferral period is the same whether a donor is contributing blood or platelets, said HSA.