The case caused a sensation in December in New Zealand: an anti-vaccine couple who opposed an operation to save their baby lost some the guard. The parents refused to allow him to be transfused with blood from donors vaccinated against Covid-19, fearing that he would be “contaminated” by … the vaccine.
Like this couple, the so-called “pure blood” movement is gaining momentum as misinformation about Covid-19 spreads. He spreading conspiracy theories that receiving transfusions from people vaccinated against Covid “contaminates” the blood.
In New Zealand, but also in the United States, France and Switzerland, opponents of vaccination are trying to organize in order not to be confronted with the vaccine.
However, these theories are not based on “any scientific evidence,” says Katrine Wallace, an epidemiologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago:
If you donate blood from a vaccinated person to someone who is not, the person receiving the transfusion will not be vaccinated
This does not prevent Internet users from advocating for the creation of blood banks dedicated to people who have not received an injection, a request also received by doctors in North America.
The New Zealand couple’s case has become iconic for anti-vaccine campaigners. These cases “spread like wildfire” on the Internet, “drawing attention to anti-vaccine conspiracy theories,” explains Katrine Wallace.
Calls for violence
In private groups on social networks, defenders of this “pure blood” call for violence against caregivers who vaccinate – mistakenly convinced that the vaccinated die en masse.
Images on one of these groups, for example, show a nurse holding a syringe in the middle of a field strewn with skulls.
An organization based in Zurich (Switzerland), “Safe Blood Donation”, even seeks to connect donors and non-vaccinated recipients. The association, founded by a Swiss naturopath, George Della Pietra, promises on its website to provide blood for its clients. It says it is present in Western Europe, North America, Africa and Asia.
“Many researchers and doctors have many concerns about Covid vaccines and are also convinced that they enter the body through the blood, in a roundabout way, you might say, and stay there,” says Safe Blood Donation official Clinton Ohlers .
A confirmation diametrically opposed to scientific knowledge:
Blood donations from people vaccinated against Covid-19 are safe for transfusions
Jessa Merrill, American Red Cross
The vaccine’s components “do not end up in the bloodstream,” she adds.
Entrance €50 and subscription
Members of Safe Blood Donation must pay an entry fee of 50 euros, then an annual subscription of 20 euros, according to its website.
“The ‘safe blood’ movement is 100% based on vaccine misinformation,” says epidemiologist Katrine Wallace. “And it is unfortunately profitable to appeal to people’s fears. »
The search for so-called “purity” is not limited to blood: on social networks, publications aim to find breast milk from unvaccinated people, or even sperm – the “next Bitcoin”, plotters predict.
It is difficult to estimate the number of people seeking “unvaccinated” blood, but experts say it would be a challenge anyway in countries with high vaccination rates.
In the United States, where more than 80% of the population has received at least one dose, health officials explain that they do not ask donors to have their vaccination status tested.
Hospitals cannot communicate this information to patients when it comes to blood donation.