The case caused a stir in December in New Zealand: an anti-vaccine couple who opposed an operation to save their baby lost some the guard. The parents refused that he could 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 spreads 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 themselves so as 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 the blood of a vaccinated person to someone who is not, the person receiving the transfusion does not become vaccinated
This does not prevent Internet users from speaking out 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 to violence
In private groups on social networks, defenders of this “pure blood” call for violence against caregivers who vaccinate – convinced, wrongly, that those vaccinated die en masse.
Images posted on one of these groups show, for example, a nurse holding a syringe in the middle of a field strewn with skulls.
An organization based in Zurich (Switzerland), the “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 site to obtain blood for its clients. It says it is present in Western Europe, North America, Africa and Asia.
“Many scientists and doctors have many concerns about Covid vaccines, and are also convinced that they enter the body through the blood, in a roundabout way, one might say, and stay there,” says an official. of Safe Blood Donation, Clinton Ohlers.
An affirmation diametrically opposed to scientific knowledge:
Blood donations from people vaccinated against Covid-19 are safe for transfusions
Jessa Merrill, American Red Cross
The components of the vaccine “do not end up in the bloodstream,” she adds.
Entry fee of €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 site.
“The ‘safe blood’ movement is 100% based on vaccine misinformation,” says epidemiologist Katrine Wallace. “And appealing to people’s fears is unfortunately profitable. »
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”, predict plotters.
It is difficult to estimate the number of people seeking “unvaccinated” blood, but experts say finding 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 authorities 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.