Below are a few examples of common travel deferrals. If you have questions about your eligibility, contact us at (888) 723-7831.

Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD):

As of January 5, 2023, we are excited to share that common deferrals related to risk of vCJD (or “mad cow”) have been eliminated. The only deferral that remains is an official diagnosis of vCJD, which is rare.

If you have previously been deferred at Stanford Blood Center for living in, visiting or receiving a transfusion in a vCJD risk area, you may be able to donate with us in the future! To begin the process of having your eligibility for community blood donations reviewed, you MUST contact our Resource Nurse at or 650-725-7336.

*PLEASE NOTE: Due to review and processing time requirements, reinstatement requests cannot be completed on the day of donation and must be submitted weeks in advance of the desired donation visit.

Travel to a Malarial Region (Three-month Temporary Deferral):

Because of the risk of malaria, donors who have traveled to certain countries may be deferred from donating blood for three months. If you have traveled to India, you must wait three months from your return to donate. Note that this deferral period was updated from one year on September 17, 2020, due to an updated FDA guidance.

Certain parts of Mexico, China, Africa, South and Central America, the Caribbean, and the Philippines are considered “limited risk areas.” For the most current information available, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) malaria risk maps for the Eastern Hemisphere and Western Hemisphere. (Malaria risk changes over time with rainfall patterns or successes in malaria control efforts, and updates to the CDC’s malaria risk maps are being made constantly.)

Please note, if you have formerly lived in a malaria-risk country, you must have resided in a non-endemic country for three years without traveling back to a malaria-risk country in order to be eligible to give blood, per FDA guidelines. Additional questions about relevant travel may be asked on the day of donation by the medical historian.

Blood Donors with Recent Travel to the Caribbean:

Travel to the Caribbean islands may put you at risk of contracting infections not currently found in the United States that can be transmitted to patients undergoing blood transfusions. Of concern at this time, in addition to Zika virus, is a tropical disease caused by chikungunya virus, which is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. Although you report feeling completely well and healthy at the time of your donation, you may still have been infected with chikungunya virus during your travel and not experience any symptoms. Because of the risk of chikungunya virus, donors who have traveled to any island in the Caribbean during the two weeks before donating should notify us as soon as possible at 1-650-725-9968 if they become ill.

Visit our post-donation instructions for more information. By doing so, you will assist us in preventing the potential for this virus to be transmitted to those receiving blood transfusions.

More information provided by CDC is available for download

For more information regarding travel deferrals, please review Form 05-F36 Donor Education Materials.