Donating blood is an act of empathy

Donate blood, find out if you’re immune against Covid-19

Donate blood, find out if you’re immune against Covid-19

That is the message used by Daugavpils Regional Hospital in order to encourage donors

Last week, the Daugavpils Regional Hospital in Latvia started its latest blood drive campaign aimed to incentivize people into donating blood and replenishing the local reserves needed for many medical procedures. Anxiety, however, has been high since the start of the coronavirus pandemic so the health authorities have also considered this a good moment to alleviate fears by answering some of the common questions through the city’s municipal website, in addition to the promotional campaign in the social and traditional media.

Can I donate blood if I have COVID-19? 

For starters, last year the health authorities needed to assure possible donors that the centres were safe and disinfected, and such efforts are still ongoing as people’s anxiety around such matters has not subsided. Another common question, it was explained, was the one about whether people can be blood donors if they have recovered from Covid-19.

Experts point out that if the course of the disease has been mild and there are no lasting consequences, it is safe to become a donor as early as 14 days after complete recovery. The situation is somewhat similar if people have already been vaccinated. Blood can be donated 2-4 weeks after vaccination with the viral vector (AstraZeneca) vaccine against COVID-19 and 28 days after the second dose of the vaccine. After inoculation with an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna) it is safe to donate 14 days after receiving the second dose. 

The situation is similar with other vaccines, such as the one against tick-borne encephalitis. That being said, each case is individual, and the situation is carefully examined by a transfusiologist before donation.

The Blood Preparation Unit at the hospital also informed that apart from testing for communicable infections, such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and syphilis, there will also be testing for Covid-19 antibodies.

This helps to keep track of whether the person is still immune to the infection at the moment and to react in time if the levels start to fall. It can happen that antibodies are detected thanks to this test even in those who did not even know that they were infected. It is a free way to find out where one stands on his Covid status.



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