Vaccines do not wipe out the natural antibodies of people who have previously been infected with COVID-19, as has been claimed online.
A TikTok video has been shared on Twitter and Facebook with overlaid audio that originates from a months-old news report.
The clip, with audio that was filmed in February 2021, makes the claim that the American Red Cross no longer accepts convalescent plasma from those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine because the vaccine wipes out natural antibodies.
Plasma is the liquid component of blood which is made of water, proteins and nutrients. Plasma-only donations are used to help treat patients with trauma or those with blood-clotting issues. Meanwhile, COVID-19 convalescent plasma is plasma from those who have recently recovered from the disease and have COVID-19 antibodies. Their plasma has been used to treat COVID-19 patients (here), (here).
One user who shared the clip via Twitter said: “Been sayin'. [sic] The offer is the weapon. Make you synthetic and wipes you out of natural imm@nity [sic] There is no virus” (here).
“There are claims circulating that incorrectly state that the Red Cross will not accept convalescent plasma donations from those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine because the vaccine wipes out those antibodies making the convalescent plasma ineffective in treating other COVID-19 patients,” the American Red Cross said in a statement, adding that the claims are “not accurate”.
The Red Cross said that due to a “decline in hospital demand” and because the Red Cross and its partners have built “sufficient supply of convalescent plasma to meet the foreseeable needs of COVID-19 patients,” the organization stopped collecting convalescent plasma completely on June 14.
The American Red Cross still accepts plasma, blood and platelet donations from vaccinated people (here).
Dr Baia Lasky, medical director for the American Red Cross, previously told Reuters that in most cases, “you can donate blood, platelets and plasma after a COVID-19 vaccine as long as you’re feeling healthy and well.” (here).
“Vaccine-induced immunity does not ‘wipe out’ any natural antibodies that are developed prior to vaccination,” Dr Sabrina Assoumou, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and an attending physician in the section of Infectious Diseases at Boston Medical Center, told Reuters via email.
“As a matter of fact, we actually have research to show that vaccination after natural immunity enhances the immune response that was produced after infection. Recent studies show that vaccination after infection or ‘hybrid immunity’ appears to provide robust immunity,” Assoumou added (here).
“We would not recommend that people purposely get infected and then vaccinated to enhance their immune response, but this information adds to prior reasons for why individuals who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 should get vaccinated,” she said.
The rationale behind recommending vaccination even after a COVID-19 infection was due to “concerns about the durability of protection after natural infection as well as questions about protection against variants,” Assoumou said (here).
False. Vaccines do not ‘wipe out’ natural antibodies of those who have been previously infected with COVID-19. The American Red Cross is no longer taking convalescent plasma donations to treat COVID-19 patients due to sufficient supply.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .
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