No, Japan not planning to ban vaccinated people from donating blood

By: Rohith Gutta
April 17 2024

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No, Japan not planning to ban vaccinated people from donating blood

Screenshot of a social media post claiming that Japan is set to ban vaccinated people from donating blood (Source: TikTok/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

Japan has not made any such announcement. The claim emerges from a website known for spreading misinformation.

Claim ID 7d91d533

What is the claim?

A video clip circulating on TikTok contains a screenshot of a website article titled "Japan To Ban Vaccinated People from Donating 'Tainted Blood' (sic)." The article is from a website called 'The People's Voice,' which has a history of spreading misinformation.

The article cited a pre-print journal paper, stating that the paper's researchers-authors asked the Japanese government to outlaw the mRNA vaccine and prohibit anyone vaccinated from donating blood. The article also claims that COVID-19 vaccination has caused various ailments among the vaccinated. An archived version of the article and posts making the same claim can be accessed here, here, and here.

Screenshot of the article making the false claim. (Source: TikTok/Modified by Logically Facts)

What did we find?

We looked for news reports about the Japanese government's supposed decision but found no such report. Any such decision by Japan would have made international headlines, and several media organizations would have reported on it.

We also checked the Japanese Health Ministry's website and found no such announcement. The website still details the process for taking the third COVID-19 vaccine shot. The side effects section also does not report any supposed blood contamination.

We then looked at the journal paper cited in the article. The paper was published on the Pre-Prints website on March 15, titled 'Concerns regarding Transfusion of Blood Products Derived from Genetic Vaccine Recipients and Proposals for Specific Measures.' It is to be noted here that the paper is not peer-reviewed. While the paper was submitted on March 14, it was published by March 15. The paper is authored by seven individuals affiliated with various health institutes in Japan.

The paper claims to assess the impact of the transfusion of blood products from people who have suffered from long COVID and also who have been administered genetic vaccines. According to a paper published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information of the U.S. Government, genetic vaccines are a kind of immunization where one or more genes that encode proteins of the pathogen are delivered. Examples are DNA and mRNA vaccines.

The paper only reviews various studies conducted on vaccination and its impacts. The authors have not conducted a study of their own.

After reviewing various studies about the supposed contamination of blood post-vaccination, the paper concludes that it is "unknown at present" whether there is any damage caused by blood transfusions derived from "genetic vaccine recipients" and that medical institutions and administrative organizations must respond and investigate further.

It also states that further analysis is needed to check whether the spike protein of all the variants will cause damage or only specific variants like the Wuhan one. COVID-19 vaccines contain small particles of spike protein.

The paper also states, "Unless accurate tests are established, no conclusion can be drawn about the risk or safety of blood transfusion using blood products from gene vaccine recipients." It then enumerates the possible best methods to collect blood from vaccinated people and the storage and traceability of the blood donors.

It is clear that the paper has analyzed other studies and hints at the possibility of some damage. It argues for more research and does not state its own results of any damage. 

AFP has reported that one of the study's authors, Masanori Fukushima, was dubbed "anti-vaxxer" by Japan's former vaccine chief Taro Kano. Citing the American Red Cross, it also reported that the vaccine's components do not circulate in the bloodstream of vaccinated people.

It is to be noted that the website The People's Voice is a known purveyor of fake news and misinformation. Logically Facts has previously fact-checked several claims emerging from The People's Voice, and some of them can be read here, here, and here.

The verdict

It is claimed that Japan is set to ban vaccinated people from donating blood, but there are no official announcements or media reports on the alleged development. The claim emanates from a website known to spread misinformation and from a pre-print journal paper that, at best, suggested more research to understand the impact of gene vaccines on blood products. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false. 

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We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before