Blood donation restrictions relaxed during COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus

(WFXR) – To assist the influx of blood donations needed to replenish dangerously low supply levels, the FDA is changing its restrictions for who can and who cannot give blood.

Since April, healthy gay men who abstain from sexual activity for three months are now allowed to donate blood.

The change comes as the nation’s blood and plasma supply has hit historic lows, because giving blood has dropped significantly due to the pandemic.

Toby Jenkins, the executive director of Oklahoman’s for Equality has donated this summer for the first time since the 1990s.

“It goes back to decades ago when there was a lifetime ban. You couldn’t donate. That’s why when I was able to donate on June the 15th it was so emotional for me because I had not been able to donate for 22 years.”

Toby Jenkins

There is also hope in the midst of the pandemic that gay men who have recovered from COVID-19 will have antibodies in their plasma, which are given to the most critical of patients in hospitals as a way to jump-start their immune systems and give them better odds at survival.

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