State Council's interagency task force briefing on promoting COVID-19 vaccination

The State Council's interagency task force held a press conference on Monday in Beijing to brief the media about issues on promoting COVID-19 vaccination. March 19, 2021

Red Star News:

Recently, blood banks in some parts of the country have been facing blood shortages. Those in charge of local departments have said that this is related to the COVID-19 vaccinations. What impact will COVID-19 vaccinations have on blood donation? When can vaccine recipients donate blood? Are blood stocks still able to meet people's needs? Thank you. 

Li Bin:

This is a very important question. Health care authorities have always attached great importance to the safety and supply of blood. Ensuring blood supply is one of our major tasks. During the vaccination work, we have been paying attention to the question of how to ensure the effective blood supply. Mr. Chang will introduce the details. 

Chang Jile:

Thank you for your question. The safety of blood supply has a direct bearing on clinical and medical treatment services. The NHC has always attached great importance to the implementation of the Blood Donation Law, and made great efforts to encourage the public to participate in voluntary blood donation. The amount of blood collected from voluntary donors in China has increased for 20 consecutive years, with all blood donated for clinical use undergoing nucleic acid testing. China ranks among the top countries in the world in terms of ensuring the safety of blood supply. We have also used information technology to establish a monitoring and early warning system on blood inventories across the nation and a coordinating mechanism to guarantee supply. Through the national management system of blood inventories, 452 blood banks across the country share their information with one another and can timely monitor the collection and storage of blood in different places. In the case of a transient blood shortage or low supplies of certain blood types in certain areas, we immediately kick-start the coordinating mechanism and timely allocate blood from blood banks where storage is sufficient to ensure supply.

Regarding the impact of vaccination on blood donation, in the light of the current blood donor eligibility criteria and different types of vaccines inoculated, the suspension of blood donation ranges from 24 hours to four weeks. In addition, according to the Blood Donation Law, there should be an interval of no less than six months between donations. Since the COVID-19 vaccination campaign launched, we have strengthened the monitoring and allocation work of blood storage and rolled out a system which includes daily monitoring and reporting. As of now, the national level of stored blood is above the security line. The blood supply is stable and can basically meet the demands for clinical use. Initially, to ensure the safety of blood donors and vaccine recipients, following the principle of being proactive and prudent, we organized experts to study this question. We have also taken common international practice into consideration with regards to the suspension of blood donations after inoculation by the COVID-19 vaccine. 

As the inoculation of COVID-19 vaccines is proceeding worldwide, the delay periods for blood donation after vaccination have been successively updated and released internationally. Therefore, in line with the principle of scientific prudence, we have also organized experts to conduct a study to determine the time to suspend blood donation after vaccination against the new coronavirus. Next, we will continue to strengthen the education and mobilization of voluntary non-remunerated blood donation, and encourage healthy citizens of the right age to actively donate blood without compensation. On the other hand, we will guide clinics to strengthen the rational use of blood, and at the same time closely monitor the situation of blood stocks nationwide, make timely deployments and do a good job in guaranteeing clinical blood use. Thank you.

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