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Southwest Oklahoma MOAA
Chapter Maintenance Support of Abandoned Cemetery

2022 High School and Cameron University Scholarship Winners

Chapter Member Birthdays June 2022

United States Field Artillery Association Hall of Fame

SB 401 Income Tax Exemption for Military Retirement Signed 26May22

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This Story Expires on: 06/30/22
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This Story Expires on: 11/01/22
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This Story Expires on: 11/17/22
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Date Posted:05/28/21
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FDA Lifts Ban on Blood Donations Based on Past European Service

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has lifted a longstanding ban that prevented some 4.4 million Veterans, service members and civilians stationed in certain parts of Europe between 1980 and 1996 from donating blood.  The ban was meant to prevent transmission of a deadly brain disease commonly known as “mad cow disease.”

The fatal disease is believed to be acquired by consuming contaminated beef. U.S. bases at the time sourced potentially tainted beef from the United Kingdom.  The disease was first recognized there in 1985.

The FDA hopes the change will help ease blood shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The FDA made the change after finding that there have been no reported cases of the brain disease associated with time spent on U.S. military bases in Europe.  

Thousands of former service members who for decades were told they could not give blood because they were stationed in Germany.  Under the new guidelines, persons who had been ineligible because they resided for six months or more on U.S. military bases in Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands between 1980 and 1990, or on bases in Greece, Turkey, Spain, Portugal and Italy between 1980 and 1996 may now be eligible. 

The deferral, however, is still in place for past or recent residency or travel in some European countries.  For instance, FDA guidelines do not permit donation by individuals who have spent three months or more cumulatively in the United Kingdom from 1980 to 1996.

Two national blood donation centers list eligibility details on their websites: Vitalant and the American Red Cross.  Vitalant welcomes potential donors to call their medical help desk to speak to a registered nurse about any eligibility questions at 412-209-7035.



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