At this time, we require both staff and donors to wear a face covering at blood drives or donation centers. Appointments are also strongly recommended.

Due to COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus), we are requiring that people should not donate today if in the PAST 4 WEEKS:

  • You had symptoms from a lab-diagnosed or suspected COVID-19 infection and have not had a subsequently-negative nasopharyngeal swab test result
  • You have lived with or been in close contact with individuals diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19 infection
  • You are a health care worker who has been caring for a patient diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19 and have not consistently been able to use recommended personal protective equipment (face mask, gown and gloves)

For more information, read our Blood Donor Notice.
The Blood Donor Notice is also available in Spanish.

Masks Required
All staff and donors are required to wear a mask or cloth face covering.
One-way valve masks are not permitted.

COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma
Learn more about convalescent plasma to see if you are eligible to give this lifesaving donation to help COVID-19 patients. We encourage healthy donors who don’t qualify to give convalescent plasma to continue scheduling whole blood, platelet and other donation type appointments to help patients in need.

Blood Donation Basics
Donating blood is safe and easy to do. If you're in good health and meet the general eligibility criteria, then you are likely able to donate. Depending on the circumstances, if you were told previously that you couldn't donate you might be able to now. (See "Updated Donation Eligibility Criteria" below.)

As part of our commitment to safety, blood donors must meet certain requirements to give blood. The information below is not all-inclusive and is subject to change. It's important you review this information before scheduling an appointment.

If you have any questions regarding your eligibility, please call us at 877-258-4825 (877-25-VITAL), option 1. To learn more, read our Information and Instructions for Your Blood Donation (Spanish).

When you're ready to take the next step, remember to complete your online Health History Questionnaire the day you donate.

  • Must be at least 16 years old (16- and 17-year-olds must bring a signed permission form from a parent or guardian, if required by state or school).
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds. Certain height/weight criteria may apply for donors 22 years old or younger.
  • Be in good general health.
  • For your safety and to ensure a positive donation experience, make sure you eat within two hours ahead of your donation. Drink plenty of water that day and 24 to 48 hours beforehand. Feel free to help yourself to something to eat and drink in our refreshment area.
  • Bring your ID—something with your name and one of the following: date of birth, donor ID number or your photo.
  • You must wait eight weeks between whole blood donations. Learn more about specific intervals for other types of donation.
  • You should not be under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs at the time of donation.
  • Platelet donors should avoid aspirin and/or aspirin-containing products 48 hours prior to donation and other anti-platelet medications as listed here.
  • Double red cell donors must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Vitalant implemented the changes to donor eligibility criteria recently announced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for human immunodeficiency virus, malaria and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, also known as mad cow disease.

If you are currently deferred from giving blood but believe you now may be eligible under the new FDA guidelines, we encourage you to review the information on this page and then fill out a form to initiate reinstatement. Our staff will review the provided information, assess eligibility and potentially remove a previous deferral.

Most health conditions are acceptable and you may be eligible to donate as long as you meet all other requirements. If you have any questions, please call us at 877-258-4825, option 1, or you may ask our donor care specialist at the time of your donation.

  • Breastfeeding: Female donors who are breastfeeding are eligible to donate.
  • Cancer: If you have a history of basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer, or in situ breast or cervix cancer, you are eligible to donate once you've completed your treatment. Those with lymphoma or leukemia are permanently deferred from donating blood (however, eligibility criteria for adult survivors of childhood leukemia who were diagnosed when they were 18 years old or younger may vary). All other types of cancer will be assessed at the time of donation, but 12 months must have passed since the last treatment and you must be considered cancer free at the time of donation.
  • Colds/Flu: You are not eligible if you are not feeling well and healthy the day of donation. You may donate after you recover and are symptom free.
  • Diabetes: If you have diabetes (type I or II), you are eligible to donate. Diabetics who ever used bovine insulin and were permanently deferred from giving blood are encouraged to complete this form to initiate possible reinstatement based on updated FDA eligibility guidelines.
  • Heart Disease: If you have a history of heart disease or heart attacks, you may be eligible to donate provided 6 months have elapsed from the incident and other specific criteria have been met. Please contact us for additional information.
  • Hemochromatosis/Polycythemia: If you are diagnosed with hereditary hemochromatosis or polycythemia, please check with us first.
  • High Blood Pressure: If you have high blood pressure, you are eligible to donate if your blood pressure is within an acceptable range when taken on the day of donation, regardless of medication.
  • Pregnant: If you are pregnant or have been pregnant in the last 6 weeks, you are not eligible to donate.
  • Transfusion/Transplants: If you have received a blood transfusion or specific transplants or grafts, you are asked to wait 3 months before donating; however, eligibility for those who have received a stem cell or marrow transplant is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Most medications are acceptable. Review our list.

The following risk behaviors represent a 3-month deferral for the donor from the date of occurrence:

  • Male donors who have sex with another man in the past 3 months
  • Female donors who have sex with a man who had sex with another man in the past 3 months
  • Intimate/sexual contact with any person in the past 3 months in exchange for money or drugs
  • Use of needles to take drugs, steroids or anything not prescribed by your doctor in the past 3 months
  • Individuals who had sex in the past 3 months with a person who has ever exchanged sex for money or drugs, or ever used needles to take drugs, steroids or anything not prescribed by their doctor
  • Accidental contact with another person’s blood or an accidental needle stick in the past 3 months
  • A history or treatment of syphilis or gonorrhea in the past 3 months

Individuals who are incarcerated for more than 72 consecutive hours will be deferred from giving blood for 12 months.

  • Tattoos/Permanent Make-up/Micro-blading: These are acceptable and the donor is not deferred if the tattoo, permanent make-up or micro-blading was performed in a state-regulated shop, using sterile needles and single-use ink.
    • If you got a tattoo, permanent make-up or micro-blading in one of the following states/cities, we'll ask you to wait 3 months from the date it was applied before giving blood:
      Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, Wyoming, Washington, D.C.
  • Ear/Body Piercing/Branding: You are eligible to donate if a piercing or branding was performed using single-use equipment. Otherwise, we’ll ask you to wait 3 months before donating.
    • Note: Piercings done at Claire’s stores and similar establishments are acceptable.
  • Acupuncture/Dry-needling: You are eligible if the procedure was performed using single-use equipment. Otherwise, we’ll ask you to wait 3 months before donating.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), the latter known as mad cow disease, are infectious diseases that may be transmitted through a blood transfusion. There are no tests to detect these diseases in blood, which is why the FDA mandates special precautions to protect the blood supply.

  • In alignment with new FDA guidelines, Vitalant will keep in place permanent vCJD-related deferrals for the following individuals:
    • Donors who have spent 3 months or more cumulatively in the United Kingdom (i.e., England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, Gibraltar or the Falkland Islands) from 1980 to 1996.
    • Donors who have spent 5 years or more cumulatively in France or Ireland from 1980 to 2001.
    • Donors with a history of blood transfusion in the U.K., France or Ireland from 1980 to present.
  • In alignment with new FDA guidelines due to the extremely low risk for transmission, the following donors will no longer be permanently deferred:
    • Donors previously deferred for time spent in other European countries (excluding the permanent deferral criteria for France and Ireland as listed above).
    • Donors previously deferred for time spent on U.S. military bases in Europe.
    • Donors previously deferred for use of bovine insulin.

Most travel is acceptable. There are certain countries and popular travel destinations that are malaria risk areas. If you've traveled to these areas, we'll ask you to wait 3 months before you donate. Please call 800-289-4923, with any questions about your recent travel.

Unlike plasma that is donated specifically for patient transfusion, source plasma is collected and used to develop lifesaving medicines and therapies for patients with neurological disorders, immune deficiencies, bleeding disorders and more. Currently, Vitalant only offers voluntary source plasma donation opportunities to people who live in the Sacramento area.

Source plasma donors have specific eligibility requirements. Please call us at 877-258-4825 for more information.