Legislation introduced in Illinois aims to provide transparency to individuals receiving blood donations by allowing them to know if the donated blood comes from someone vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine or another messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine. The proposed bill, HB4243, presented by Illinois state Rep. Jed Davis on Nov. 29, seeks to amend the Illinois Clinical Laboratory and Blood Bank Act.
Under HB4243, blood banks would be required to test donated blood for evidence of COVID-19 vaccines and other mRNA components, such as lipid nanoparticles and spike protein. Additionally, donors would need to disclose whether they have received a COVID-19 vaccine or any other mRNA vaccine during their lifetime. The bill also mandates labeling for blood or blood components that test positive for evidence of a COVID-19 vaccine or other mRNA vaccine component, or those obtained from a vaccinated donor.
The motivation behind the legislation stems from a concerned constituent whose worries about the potential long-term impacts of mRNA vaccines on her son's upcoming surgery prompted Rep. Davis to take action. He emphasizes the importance of disclosing vaccine history during the donor screening process, likening it to the routine disclosure of medical information with healthcare providers.
In Illinois, once a bill is introduced, it undergoes a process of review and referral before being assigned to a substantive committee. For Rep. Davis, translating the concerns of constituents into legislative action is a key aspect of his role as an elected official.
Unlike a previous bill in Montana that sought to make it a misdemeanor offense for vaccinated individuals to donate tissue or blood, HB4243 does not criminalize such donations. Instead, it focuses on providing information to individuals receiving blood products, enabling them to make informed decisions.
According to the Red Cross, individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can donate blood without a waiting period, provided they are symptom-free and feel well at the time of donation. However, if the donor is unsure which vaccine they received, a two-week waiting period is recommended.
Several major organizations, including the Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies, America’s Blood Centers, and the American Red Cross, maintain that COVID-19 vaccines do not pose a risk to patients receiving blood transfusions. In a joint statement, they emphasize the absence of scientific evidence demonstrating adverse outcomes from transfusions involving blood products from vaccinated donors.
However, recent studies have reported the persistence of synthetic mRNA from COVID-19 vaccines in the blood of vaccinated individuals for at least two weeks post-vaccination. Other studies detected traces of SARS-CoV-2 spike mRNA vaccine sequences in the blood up to 28 days after vaccination. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not provided data confirming the safety of blood donated by vaccinated individuals, it has consistently stated that there is no evidence supporting concerns about its safety.