Can you donate blood if you have been vaccinated against COVID? Is there another test for delta variant?

Dr. Frank McGeorge answers COVID questions

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Dr. Frank McGeorge has been keeping viewers up-to-date and informed on all fronts. He’s been answering your questions about the vaccine, the vaccination process and more.

DETROIT – Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Dr. Frank McGeorge has been keeping viewers up-to-date and informed on all fronts. He’s been answering your questions about the vaccine, the vaccination process and more.

Read: More answers to questions about coronavirus


Can you donate blood if you have been vaccinated against COVID?

Yes. You can. The vaccine does not change the suitability of your blood for donation. On the other side of that, donating blood won’t change the number of antibodies you develop from the vaccine.

Is a fully vaccinated person’s protection against COVID-19 infection affected if they subsequently receive a blood transfusion?

Receiving blood won’t affect the protection you have developed from being vaccinated.

I would like to know which third vaccine participants in the clinical trial of AstraZeneca will get? Those of us who got the second vaccine in the trial in Dec. and Jan. are in limbo. We don’t know how we will get a third dose and which one.

You should discuss this with your study site coordinator. There are circumstances in which a patient would deviate from the study protocol, but the study coordinator should be made aware and may even have specific recommendations. Also, anyone in a clinical trial is always allowed to drop out if they feel it’s necessary.

My second dose of Pfizer was on March 25, 2021. That means eight months later will be November 25, 2021. But November 25 is Thanksgiving. Will I be able to receive my COVID booster before that date?

I applaud the detailed thought you’ve put into this. Practically I would simply wait until after Thanksgiving. There is nothing magically specific about eight months. Waiting until at least eight months will just make it easier for whoever is administering the vaccine.

Since the original Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were developed before the dangerous variants emerged, will the booster shots be formulated to cover the variants?

At this point, the boosters will be the same vaccine you initially received. Vaccine manufacturers are developing variant-specific vaccines but at this time it’s believed these won’t be necessary.

How do doctors determine if someone has COVID-19 or the delta variant? Is there a separate test for the delta variant?

There is a separate test to determine the specific variant a person is infected with. The standard PCR test can only tell if a person is infected in general. The sample has to be genetically sequenced to determine which variant is involved. Most samples do not go through that extra step. In the state of Michigan, 99% of samples that have been genetically sequenced in the past month showed an infection with the delta variant. So, it’s a good bet that any new infections are from the delta variant.

I received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in March. All of the booster conversations seem to be on mRNA vaccines. When will we hear about potential booster shots for those that received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

We expect that boosters will be needed for people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Hopefully, that data will be coming in the near future.


Read more

Questions about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge


About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.