The Japanese Red Cross now refuses to accept blood donations from people who have received the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.
The website of the Japanese Red Cross states that individuals who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 “are not allowed to donate blood for the time being.”
The same page warns potential blood donors that they will not be able to give their blood for a certain time after they have received different vaccinations.
Some deferrals prevent blood donations for 24 hours after vaccination, including after getting vaccinated for influenza, cholera and tetanus.
Others prevent blood donations for two weeks after vaccination, such as after getting the hepatitis B vaccine.
Those who have received the vaccines against mumps, rubella and other “live vaccines” that are considered weakly poisonous are not allowed to donate blood for four weeks after vaccination.
Those who have gotten the smallpox vaccine cannot donate blood for eight weeks after receiving the dose.
Jeffrey Kingston, director of Asian studies at Temple University’s Japan campus, explained that Japan has not forgotten about a scandal that gripped the nation in the 1980s.
At the time, government officials had allowed blood contaminated with the HIV virus to continue to be used. This was even though it had been established that virus elements in the blood could have been eliminated with the use of heat treatments.
Kingston said this explains both the cautious approach to blood donations and the very slow and methodical rollout of coronavirus vaccines in the nation.
Only around two percent of the Japanese population is fully vaccinated, compared to more than 35 percent in the United States.
“It’s a bureaucratic bottleneck driven by fear that something might go wrong, so best to delay and delay,” said Kingston