Iron Depletion in Blood related to COVID?

Posted by stellm @stellm, Jun 11, 2021

Has there been any reports of iron depletion in the blood after receiving the Pfizer vaccine?

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Can you tell us a little more about what led you to ask this question? Do you have a history of anemia or another blood disorder?
Sue

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@sueinmn

Good afternoon and welcome to Mayo Connect. We are a community of people living with a wide variety of conditions and diseases, trying to live our best lives, and to help each other along the way by sharing our experiences. We are not medical professionals, and cannot give medical advice, but we can tell you what has worked for us, point you to resources, and help you to be and informed consumer and your own best advocate with your care providers.

Can you tell us a little more about what led you to ask this question? Do you have a history of anemia or another blood disorder?
Sue

Jump to this post

Yes. My husband has never had any history of anemia or low iron. He received the Pfizer vaccine in March. He began feeling more tired over the next two months. He saw his physician and she suspected some type of internal bleeding based on the blood test, He had an upper and lower endoscopy. No internal bleeding was found. They are going to try the camera endoscopy next week. We don't think this is going to reveal anything. His iron, ferritin and red blood cell count is extremely low. The only change in has been receiving the vaccine.

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Hello @stellm. I am not aware of any reports of iron depletion in the blood post Pfizer vaccine and when doing a quick search for information, did not come up with any either. Conversely, there is quite a bit of information on the importance of not going into the vaccine with iron deficiency due to the way in which the vaccine works. This article can shed light on the details.

– Normal Iron and Hemoglobin Levels Are Needed for Optimizing the Response to COVID-19 Vaccination:
https://bioiron.org/news/iron-stories/normal-iron-hemoglobin-levels-covid19-vaccination.aspx
Can you start by sharing more about why this is of interest to you to perhaps bring in other members who may be able to relate?

REPLY
@amandajro

Hello @stellm. I am not aware of any reports of iron depletion in the blood post Pfizer vaccine and when doing a quick search for information, did not come up with any either. Conversely, there is quite a bit of information on the importance of not going into the vaccine with iron deficiency due to the way in which the vaccine works. This article can shed light on the details.

– Normal Iron and Hemoglobin Levels Are Needed for Optimizing the Response to COVID-19 Vaccination:
https://bioiron.org/news/iron-stories/normal-iron-hemoglobin-levels-covid19-vaccination.aspx
Can you start by sharing more about why this is of interest to you to perhaps bring in other members who may be able to relate?

Jump to this post

Yes. My husband has never had any history of anemia or low iron. He received the Pfizer vaccine in March. He began feeling more tired over the next two months. He saw his physician and she suspected some type of internal bleeding based on the blood test, He had an upper and lower endoscopy. No internal bleeding was found. They are going to try the camera endoscopy next week. We don't think this is going to reveal anything. His iron, ferritin and red blood cell count is extremely low. The only change in has been receiving the vaccine. He had normal blood work in January. Thanks

REPLY
@stellm

Yes. My husband has never had any history of anemia or low iron. He received the Pfizer vaccine in March. He began feeling more tired over the next two months. He saw his physician and she suspected some type of internal bleeding based on the blood test, He had an upper and lower endoscopy. No internal bleeding was found. They are going to try the camera endoscopy next week. We don't think this is going to reveal anything. His iron, ferritin and red blood cell count is extremely low. The only change in has been receiving the vaccine. He had normal blood work in January. Thanks

Jump to this post

I checked the VAERS data – could not find any reports of iron deficiency after vaccine. Sometimes there are coincidences. In your husband's place, I would not assume it was related to the vaccine and keep looking for the cause.
Sue

REPLY

My husband gives blood regularly. He received the Pfizer vaccine and his blood which has never been low in iron was low in iron. I fed him an iron rich diet the week prior to him giving blood. I'm hoping it's not tied to the vaccine. They actually wouldn't take his blood because the iron content was so low.

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@nieeesha123

My husband gives blood regularly. He received the Pfizer vaccine and his blood which has never been low in iron was low in iron. I fed him an iron rich diet the week prior to him giving blood. I'm hoping it's not tied to the vaccine. They actually wouldn't take his blood because the iron content was so low.

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@nieeesha123– Good morning. I also couldn't find anything that suggests a link between Pfizer vaccines and low iron. But, each time you donate blood, you lose between 220-250 mg of iron. If you donate a Power Red, you lose twice that amount, about 470 mg of iron. It may take up to 24-30 weeks for your body to replace the iron lost through a blood donation. This is according to The Red Cross blood services.

If I were you I'd encourage him to get a complete blood panel and have the doctor help with low iron. Diet might not be enough to bring his levels to where they are healthy again. I would also encourage him to slow his donations down.

Iron Info For Frequent Donors | Red Cross Blood Services

Is there a particular reason why he is donating so frequently?

REPLY
@nieeesha123

My husband gives blood regularly. He received the Pfizer vaccine and his blood which has never been low in iron was low in iron. I fed him an iron rich diet the week prior to him giving blood. I'm hoping it's not tied to the vaccine. They actually wouldn't take his blood because the iron content was so low.

Jump to this post

Based on hearing this question a second time, I dove into everything I could find about vaccines and iron deficiency – there just is no data, anywhere to suggest a link.
However, it is possible that he had some other (possibly unrecognized) infection that caused this – sometimes iron is depleted in the body while the system is fighting an infection. Unless his levels quickly return to normal, he needs a complete panel and physician consult to know what is going on.
Sue

REPLY

I also have experienced this – after taking the Johnson & Johnson shot I was fatigued (sleeping 12-15 hours a day) for several weeks. After my doctor/lab tests came back, my hemoglobin / hemocrit / ferritin was extremely low, ferritin is "3" hemoglobin "9". I have zero history of anemia.

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I'm not sure if getting the Moderna vaccine was the cause, but for the first time in my 71 year life my RBC count, just tested, is below the lowest low range. My husband's various blood levels also declined after the vaccine.

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