Mumbai: Blood shortage likely post mass vaccination from May 1

As mass Covid-19 vaccination drive to begin from May 1 for the people above 18 years of age, shortage of blood donors may happen as there is restriction in donating blood for 28 days after vaccination. Therefore, doctors have urged the youths to donate blood before getting vaccinated to prevent a possible blood scarcity to treat patients in the coming days.

Doctor Arun Thorat, incharge of State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) said that currently the city’s blood banks have stock for only 15 days.

"Every day the blood bank receives some stock and is utilised by hospitals daily. Also blood stock cannot be reserved for more days. Therefore I appeal to people before getting vaccinated to donate blood, as everyone won't be taking a vaccine on the first day itself. If not, we may face a shortage of donors for next three months," said Dr Thorat.

Dr Rajshree Katke, professor and head of gynaecology unit in JJ Hospital also appealed to healthy citizens to donate blood. "Blood is required while doing surgeries, cesarean delivery and for patients who have anemia, thalassemia among others. To prevent scarcity of blood and since a lot of people also tested Covid-19 and people who have medical history cannot donate blood, healthy individuals should come and donate blood so that future complications can be prevented," Dr Katke said.

Similar concern was expressed by Dr Hemal Shah, a nephrologist, on the scarcity of blood for the next few months after the mass vaccination drive. He said, "The blood banks before Covid-19 were easily able to conduct camps also several housing societies and social welfare groups used to conduct camps but such is not the case now. Due to the lockdown travel restrictions people are not coming for blood donation. Besides, earlier if one person from a family donates blood he would insist others also to do so but now due to the fear of Covid-19 people do not want to come to hospitals. In such circumstances we may face shortage of blood."

He asserted generally the blood donors are from the age group of 18 to 30 years and they getting vaccinated from May 1st therefore to prevent future scarcity people should donate blood before getting vaccinated is the only ideal way to prevent the problem.

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