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You can’t get COVID-19 antibodies from a blood transfusion

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Blood transfusions can save your life after an injury, but experts say you can’t get COVID-19 antibodies from a vaccinated donor.

COVID-19 vaccines are available for all adult Americans and children of 12 and over, but there’s still misinformation about blood transfusions from people who are hesitant to receive the immunization. 

Several social media claims state that those who are choosing not to get the COVID-19 vaccine should be able to refuse blood transfusions from vaccinated people, alleging that the vaccine may one day induce life-threatening disorders


VERIFY viewer Shelly asked: Does getting a blood transfusion using a vaccinated person’s blood effectively vaccinate you against COVID-19?


Dr. Shmuel Shoham, Professor of medicine and infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins


No, receiving a blood transfusion from a vaccinated donor does not protect you from COVID-19. 


The Mayo Clinic defines a blood transfusion as a routine medical procedure in which donated blood is administered to someone’s body through a vein in the arm. 

“This potentially life-saving procedure can help replace blood lost due to surgery or injury. A blood transfusion also can help if an illness prevents your body from making blood or some of your blood’s components correctly,” according to their website. 

Dr. Shmuel Shoham explained that blood transfusions are usually packed with red blood cells, which makes the blood look red but when preparing blood for transfusion, the two most important COVID-19 fighting components of blood — antibodies and white blood cells — are removed. 

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“I would not expect a red cell transfusion to provide protection against COVID-19 in any circumstance,” he said. 

A representative from the American Red Cross told VERIFY that while the COVID-19 vaccine is designed to generate an immune response to help protect an individual from illness “vaccine components themselves are not found within the bloodstream.”

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