Ask the Experts - Spring 2022

Ever wondered why you have to wait to donate after getting a tattoo? Or how long after giving blood you can get a vaccine? Thankfully, our clinical experts are on hand with the answers.

Donations of blood, platelets and plasma are simple and easy ways to make an immeasurable impact to other people’s lives.

They are, however, still a marvel of modern medicine and it’s common for donors to have questions about the process.

Thankfully, the experts in our clinical support team are on hand with the answers…

Why do I have to wait after having a tattoo before I can donate?

You have to wait for four months after having a tattoo before you can give blood. This includes semi-permanent make-up and microblading and the wait is the same for body piercings and acupuncture.

This rule is in place to preserve the safety of patients who receive donated blood. Although most tattoo and piercing practices are safe, the introduction of a foreign object to your body carries a risk of blood-borne illness. A four-month deferral period allows us to be certain that patients receiving donated blood are free of that same risk.

A tattooed man makes a donation
You have to wait for four months after having a tattoo before you can give blood

How long after giving blood do I need to wait before I can receive a vaccination?

You don’t have to wait at all. It is your decision and people have received vaccinations, including COVID-19 vaccinations, on the same day as giving blood. We do not have any concerns about you doing this and there is no reason to believe giving blood would affect the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccination, but if you are worried about it then please rebook your donation appointment.

We do not advise that you postpone getting the vaccine in order to give blood.

Please wait 48 hours after receiving a vaccination before you donate, providing you are well and recovered to any reaction to the vaccine.