Bags of blood donations (file image)
Vaccinated people in Japan are not banned from donating blood. Image by HANDOUT/RED CROSS LIFE BLOOD

Shot of truth swiftly debunks blood ban claim

David Williams May 1, 2024

Japan has proposed banning people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine from donating blood.


False. There is no such proposal and the claim is based on a misrepresentation of a pre-print study.

Japan will ban vaccinated people from donating “tainted blood”, social media users are claiming.

This is false. There is no such proposal and the claim is based on a misrepresentation of a non peer-reviewed paper. 

The claim is made in Facebook posts which share a screengrab of an article from a misinformation website headlined “Japan to ban vaccinated people from donating ‘tainted blood’.”

The claim is repeated in posts that all share the same article.

A screenshot of one of the Facebook posts.
 The posts are spreading fake news from a misinformation website. 

The March 21 article comes from The People’s Voice, a website known for publishing viral misinformation and fabricated clickbait news stories.

“Japan has proposed banning people who receive the COVID-19 vaccine from donating blood, due to the dangerous side effects of mRNA,” the article states.

“A team of top Japanese scientists have urged the government to immediately outlaw the COVID mRNA shots and prohibit anybody who has taken the vaccine from giving blood.”

None of the sources used by the article back up the main claim.

The article links to a preprint paper titled “Concerns regarding Transfusions of Blood Products Derived from Genetic Vaccine Recipients and Proposals for Specific Measures“.

Preprint means it has not been peer-reviewed or published in a scientific or medical journal.

There is nothing in the paper that supports the claim. The paper doesn’t even call for such a ban.

A person donating blood (file image)
 Japanese health officials have confirmed the claim is false. 

Instead, the authors argue the impact of the vaccines on blood products “are unknown at present.”

The paper calls for the vaccination program to be suspended while a harm-benefit assessment can be carried out on the impact on blood products.

Japanese public health expert Sharon Hanley, from Aberdeen University, said the authors of the preprint paper were not experts in vaccine safety.

“Since this is neither a published paper, nor a paper written by experts in the field, I think it is highly unlikely it would be on the government’s current list of things to consider.”

A spokesman for Japan’s Pharmaceutical Safety Bureau’s Blood and Blood Products Division confirmed to AAP FactCheck there is no ban on those who have received the vaccine.

He said there were some restrictions on blood collection after COVID-19 vaccination that were “considered as internationally and scientifically appropriate”.

A person getting vaccinated (file image)
 Vaccinated people in Japan must wait up to six weeks before being able to donate blood. 

The “restrictions” are time delays of 48 hours for blood collection after vaccination with mRNA vaccines, six weeks after virus vector vaccines, and 24 hours after recombinant protein vaccines.

The spokesman said it was not prohibited to manufacture or use blood products based on donated blood from people vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Verdict

The claim that Japan has proposed banning people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine from donating blood is false.

Japan’s Pharmaceutical Safety Bureau confirmed that there is no such proposed or actual ban.

The claim is based on the misrepresentation of a pre-print study.

False — The claim is inaccurate.

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