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Coronavirus and blood donation

The Blood Service continues to operate during the emergency to provide patients with blood products every day. We have collected the information concerning the coronavirus and blood donation on this webpage.

COVID-19-related blood donation practices

It is essential that healthy people continue to donate blood. Severely ill patients and others in dire need, such as victims of accidents, need blood products on a daily basis during the epidemic period. We continue to care about the safety of blood donors even in exceptional circumstances:

  • Blood donations require an advance booking and only donors are allowed to enter donation premises. You can book an appointment to blood donation here. 

  • We advise that a distance of at least two metres should be kept from other donors attending the blood service point.

  • Each donor is directed to wash or disinfect their hands upon arrival.

  • As of 1 March the use of a surgical mask provided by the Blood Service is mandatory. The mask helps protect other blood donors, staff and donors themselves. You will be provided with a mask at registration. A surgical mask gives better protection than masks made of cloth or other materials. Our staff members also use surgical masks.

  • Blood donors are immediately checked upon arrival to confirm that they do not have any flu-like symptoms. If you have symptoms of hay fever you will not be able to donate blood neither.
  • Restrictions will be in place to limit the number of people attending the blood service point at the same time.
  • Children (including babies in a pram), a friend or an escort are not allowed to accompany donors at the donation site (apart from an interpreter or aide for a person with sensory disability).
  • We have increased the level of cleaning at our premises and our staff have been instructed to stay at home if they have any flu-like symptoms.

The eligibility of blood donors

  • If you did not have a fever, you can donate as soon as you have been completely symptom-free for at least 24 hours.

  • If you were diagnosed with COVID-19, you need to wait at least 14 days before donating blood. A severe infection that has required hospital treatment results in a 3-month deferral time.

  • A close contact to a person who has tested positive for coronavirus results in a deferral time of 14 or 21 days (the quarantine issued by a physician of infectious diseases). As of 1 February 2021, staff treating coronavirus patients don’t get a deferral time as long as they have been using protective equipment.

  • All current travel restrictions are displayed in this chart. The travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic are being reviewed in line with the developing situation and the recommendations of the Finnish Government.

  • We are unable to allow donors with symptoms of a cold into the donation area, so during the pandemic you will not be able to donate blood if you have symptoms of hay fever. If your allergy is asymptomatic due to medication, you are welcome to donate blood. 


Details on the current blood service points and their opening hours can be found here

You can book an appointment to blood donation here.

Please complete the electronic health questionnaire here the day before or the same day as the planned blood donation.


You can also find our updates in Facebook and Twitter (mostly in Finnish).

A woman is wearing a face mask and sitting on a blood donation bed.

Q&A

Is it possible to donate blood during the epidemic?

Yes. The Blood Service operates normally regardless of the emergency. It is crucial that healthy people continue to donate blood so that patients can have access to the blood products they need. Blood donation events are not public events as stipulated in the law.

Can I donate blood if I've had coronavirus vaccination?

Coronavirus vaccine does not prevent blood donation. Strong reaction to the vaccination (severe pain, fever or rash) mean you have to wait for two days after the symptoms have ended before you can donate blood.

Do you test blood donors for the coronavirus?

Testing blood donors for COVID-19 is not necessary.  No bloodborne COVID-19 infections have been reported. Donors must naturally be completely well, without any symptoms.

Do I need to schedule an appointment?

At the moment the Blood Service donation sites are open primarily for the donors who have booked an appointment. You can do it here. With this measure, we can limit the number of donors present at the service point at any one time. If the appointments schedule is full, please book an appointment for another day. Blood is needed by patients every weekday.

Why are blood donation events being cancelled?

Unfortunately, we have been forced to cancel some blood donation events during the epidemic, e.g. because of a lack of suitable premises. Please check our up-to-date opening hours before coming to donate: https://www.bloodservice.fi/blood-donation/donate-blood/where-can-you-donate

How soon can I donate blood after my flu symptoms have gone away?

If you did not have a fever, you can donate as soon as you have been completely symptom-free for at least 24 hours. If you had a fever you need to wait at least 14 days before donating blood. In case you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you need to wait 14 days before donating blood. A severe infection that has required hospital treatment results in a 3-month deferral time.

I have hay fever. Can I donate?

During the pandemic, you will not be able to donate blood if you are symptomatic, because we are unable to allow donors with symptoms of a cold into the donation area. If your allergy is asymptomatic due to medication, you are welcome to donate blood.

How soon can I donate blood after close contact to a corona patient?

A close contact to a person who has tested positive for coronavirus results in a deferral time of 14 or 21 days (the quarantine issued by a physician of infectious diseases). As of 1 February 2021, staff treating coronavirus patients don’t get a deferral time as long as they have been using protective equipment.

Is donating blood dangerous during the epidemic?

We take care of the safety of our blood donors. Our preparations for the pandemic are listed here. Only healthy people with no symptoms of flu are allowed to donate blood. Donating blood does not lower your resistance to infection.

Is it mandatory to wear a mask during blood donation?

Yes. As of 1 March the use of a surgical mask provided by the Blood Service is mandatory. The mask helps protect other blood donors, staff and donors themselves. You will be provided with a mask at registration. You cannot donate blood without wearing a mask. Our staff members also use surgical masks.

You cannot wear your own mask on the Blood Service’s premises (if you’re wearing one when you arrive you won’t have to remove it the moment you register). Surgical masks provided by the Blood Service are more effective than cloth masks or ordinary single-use masks. However, you can wear your own valveless FFP2 or FFP3 respirator. If the FFP2 or FFP3 respirator has a valve, you can wear the respirator underneath a surgical mask provided by the Blood Service or just wear a surgical mask.

Blood donors have to use a mask during the entire blood donation session, except when drinking and eating before and after the donation. For identification purposes, donors will be asked to open one side of the mask by releasing an ear loop.

Our staff members also use surgical masks.

Has the coronavirus caused any new restrictions related to foreign travel?

All current travel restrictions are displayed in this chartThe travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic are being reviewed in line with the developing situation and the recommendations of the Finnish Government.


How can I find out my blood group? Does my blood group affect my risk of catching coronavirus?

You do not need to find out your blood group on account of coronavirus. If they wish, blood donors can inquire about their blood group by calling: Free Donor Helpline +358 (0)800 05801 (Mon–Fri 8:00am–5:00pm). The Blood Service will not examine blood groups to ascertain the risk of coronavirus.

The most recent analysis of a major international research project coordinated by FIMM (Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland) researchers did not confirm the suspected effect of blood groups on the risk of contracting the coronavirus disease. A specific gene-rich region in chromosome 3 does, however, appear to be a clear risk factor. Further studies are needed to fully understand the biological mechanism involved.

 

In Denmark, antibody tests for coronavirus are already being carried out on blood donors. Will Finland start testing blood donors?

Many countries have begun or are beginning antibody testing, which aims to find out how much of the population has had coronavirus, possibly without being aware of the illness. Blood services in Europe are involved in the testing. In Finland the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) coordinates national projects. Currently, there is no equivalent to the Danish model under way in Finland.


1.2.2021

Changes to donor suitability beginning 1 February

1.2.2021
Information about the use of face masks at blood donation

18.1.2021
Coronavirus vaccine does not prevent blood donation

4.1.2021
Changes to donor suitability beginning 4 January 2021

25.11.2020

COVID-19-related blood donation practices from 25 November onwards

7.10.2020

Face masks to be added to blood donation precautions

28.9.2020

Blood Service cares about the safety of blood donors even in exceptional circumstances

21.9.2020

New travel restrictions imposed as of 21 September

11.8.2020
New travel restrictions imposed as of 10 August 2020

7.8.2020
Blood donations to continue by appointment

14.7.2020
Updates on travel restrictions

16.6.2020
Travel restrictions on blood donations are being eased

6.4.2020
Book an appointment to blood donation around Easter

3.4.2020
Blood Service researchers are investigating individual susceptibility to coronavirus infection

31.3.2020
Making an appointment to donate blood during the coronavirus pandemic

24.3.2020
Book appointment to blood donation

19.3.2020
Precautionary measures taken by the Finnish Blood Service during the pandemic

18.3.2020

Blood donors needed during the COVID-19 epidemic - Updates to the list of conditions preventing donation

16.3.2020
Blood donors are still needed during the epidemic