Those who lived in UK no longer banned from donating blood in Israel

Israelis donate blood at the Samaria Regional Council in the northern West Bank, on October 6, 2019. (Magen David Adom)
Israelis donate blood at the Samaria Regional Council in the northern West Bank, on October 6, 2019. (Magen David Adom)

Starting today, individuals who lived in the UK for more than six months can now donate blood in Israel — after 24 years of being banned from doing so — says Magen David Adom.

MDA, which operates Israel’s national blood bank service, says in a statement that the Health Ministry has “adopted the FDA directives” on the issue and has decided “to remove the restrictions of receiving blood donations from those from Britain.”

Since 1999, anyone who had lived in Britain for more than six months between 1980 and 1996 or received a blood transfusion there during that time was turned away from donating blood over fears they could have been infected with Mad Cow Disease.

MDA says that, effective today, the restriction is lifted, after the US Federal Drug Administration ruled last year that the “risk does not justify turning away blood donors in the same way as in the past” since the risk is in fact “negligible.”

“We’re pleased to tell all our loyal blood donors, who continued to approach us and asked us to change the regulations that this day has finally arrived!” says Prof. Eilat Shinar, deputy director general of blood services at MDA.

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