Learn how to use Mayo Clinic Connect
Request an Appointment
Has there been any reports of iron depletion in the blood after receiving the Pfizer vaccine?
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?
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.
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:
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?
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
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.
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.
@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?
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.
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.
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.
@maitri, @stellm & @trieste –
This is an interesting issue – I have a few questions for each of you, as we all look for answers about these new vaccines.
As I said in earlier posts, I have looked at both VAERS (the place to report reactions) and everything I could find through research, and this is a completely unreported issue to date. Additionally, my daughter a Covid health/triage nurse for a large health system has not heard of it either.
– Did you report the reaction where you received the vaccine or to your doc, so it could be recorded in VAERS?
– Were your low blood counts found as the result of your feeling ill after the vaccine, or during routine blood tests during other health care?
– Have the counts been repeated to see if they have improved?
– What did the doc have to say?
– Are you able to see your blood test results over time, to see if this is part of the normal fluctuations we all have?
– @trieste Did you or your husband have any other symptoms?
Sorry for the long list, but it certainly is curious that we have not seen any reports since Day 1, and would love to improve our knowledge of what is going on.
@trieste – Except for Astra Zeneca I still can't find anything definitive about a lower blood count after you were vaccinated with Moderna. I'm curious to know why you had your blood tested and also how much of a difference was there? Did your white blood cell count should have increased.
Create an account to connect with other patients and caregivers like you.Ask questions, get answers, and give and get support.Also follow blogs from Mayo Clinic experts.
Already have an account? Sign In