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US eases blood donation restrictions to help meet country's blood shortage

Blood Donations
Posted at 8:18 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 23:41:48-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is making it easier for gay men and other groups to give blood because of the coronavirus outbreak.

That's to help meet a shortage in the nation's blood supply.

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it was cutting the abstinence period required for men who've had sex with men from one year to three months.

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The new policy also applies to people who have gotten tattoos and piercings.

Canceled blood drives have decimated donations to the American Red Cross and other nonprofits that collect blood.

Officials say the changes should permit thousands more Americans to give blood.