Like South Korea, Russia prohibits blood donations from the fully vaccinated – but for a whole month, not just seven days. It also does not accept blood from those in the middle of COVID-19 vaccination cycle.
The Kommersant business daily reported last week that donor activity in Russia has slumped, hit by the vaccination campaign, with blood service workers in six different regions reporting the problem to the paper.
To be sure, in western Europe concerns over vaccination-hit donations have been exacerbated by the traditional summer holiday period.
France’s blood supply agency, the Etablissement Francais du Sang (EFA), said stocks were too tight for comfort. It said there are 85,000 red blood cell bags in reserve, below a comfortable level of 100,000 or more.
“No sick person will miss out on a transfusion but we are worried for September,” an EFA spokesperson told Reuters, when the volume of surgical operations would typically increase.
In Italy, the National Blood Centre said there were worrying shortages in a number of regions, including Lazio, centred on the capital Rome, which had led some hospitals to postpone planned operations to conserve stocks for emergencies.
It blamed the shortfall mainly on many people being away on holiday and a lack of staff in some collection centres.