The FDA has updated its guidance regarding Creutzfeldt-Jakob (Mad Cow) disease

KANSAS CITY – Following updated guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Community Blood Center (CBC) today announced revised eligibility guidelines for prospective donors. In May of 2022, the FDA updated its guidance regarding Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (also known as Mad Cow disease, CJD or vCJD), allowing more people to become eligible to donate blood. 
Changes in vCJD criteria now allow the following groups to donate:

  • People who spent time in the United Kingdom from 1980-1996
  • People who spent time in France and Ireland from 1980-2001, and
  • People who received a blood transfusion in the United Kingdom, France, and Ireland from 1980-present

“We are thrilled to welcome newly eligible donors in the fight to save lives,” said Patsy Shipley, Vice President at Community Blood Center. “Blood centers across America have struggled to collect enough blood since the pandemic hit. These new guidelines will help ease the shortage by opening eligibility to many potential donors who have long wanted to help.” 

After updating computer systems and training protocols, CBC will again be welcoming donors who were previously deferred due to one of the above criteria on Wednesday, February 1, 2023. CBC is currently contacting donors with previous vCJD deferrals to inform them of their potential eligibility.

Local donor Erin Manning will be donating at our 4040 Main St location at 8am this Wednesday to celebrate the lifting of this deferral. Erin’s family was stationed at a military base in Oxfordshire, England 1981 – 1985 and has been deferred from donating blood in Kansas and Missouri, until this week. The lifting of this deferral is especially meaningful for her family, who has been impacted by the generosity of blood donors and is excited to now be able to donate blood in return. “It’s such an easy way to help someone else in need,” said Erin. “This comes at a time when there is such a need and a shortage of blood donors. Hopefully military families like mine and others who have been deferred will donate once again.”

There is no substitute for blood—only eligible donors can help meet the needs of patients in our local hospitals. Giving blood takes less than one hour from start to finish, and a single donation could help up to three patients. Learn more or schedule an appointment to donate at

Some eligibility deferrals related to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease remain. To determine eligibility, call 1-800-688-0900 or stop by a donor center or blood drive and speak with our staff.