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New Information on Donating Convalescent Plasma
Thank you for your interest in donating COVID-19 convalescent plasma to help currently hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
UPDATE as of February 4, 2021:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released new guidelines that help determine who is best matched to donate COVID-19 convalescent plasma.
- If you are interested in donating convalescent plasma, Carter BloodCare will begin by scheduling you for a whole blood donation that will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies.
- If you test positive for COVID-19 antibodies, Carter BloodCare will perform an additional test. This test will check the antibody concentration to determine if it is enough to meet the newly released FDA requirements for a dose of convalescent plasma for a patient.
- If your results qualify you as a convalescent plasma donor, then we will schedule your convalescent plasma donation.
Also, to be eligible to donate convalescent plasma, an individual must:
- Have complete resolution of COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days
- Meet the regular blood donation guidelines
Please consider this additional way to positively affect change for patients and help our community stay prepared for potential surges in the virus.
Convalescent plasma donations must be scheduled. Please call us at 817-412-5830 or email ConvalescentPlasma@CarterBloodCare.org.
Are you a current COVID-19 convalescent plasma donor?
The FDA’s recently updated requirements also mean that some current donors of COVID-19 convalescent plasma may receive communication from Carter BloodCare informing them about the status of continuing to donate this blood product. If you can no longer donate convalescent plasma, please consider donating red cells or platelets to help the many other hospitalized patients requiring transfusion.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:
A: No. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has determined that anyone who receives a COVID-19 vaccine cannot be a COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) donor.
The vaccine is intended for your protection – and not the protection of a COVID-19 patient.
The antibody response that is produced by the vaccine is not the kind of antibody response that can help fight the active viral infection in a currently hospitalized COVID-19 patient.
A: Yes. Carter BloodCare welcomes COVID-19 vaccine recipients to donate blood for other hospitalized patients who require blood transfusions of red cells or platelets. You can make an appointment by calling or texting 800-366-2834 or schedule your appointment online to give at one of our 25 donor centers.
Q: If I received monoclonal antibody therapy for COVID-19 treatment, am I able to donate convalescent plasma?
A: As of February 11, 2021, you must wait at least three months after your COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapy treatment. The FDA guidelines state that this includes a COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapy in a research protocol and a COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapy that is authorized and licensed.
A: Yes. Currently, Carter BloodCare is performing antibody testing for convalescent plasma donors. The FDA has also announced new requirements for qualifying convalescent plasma for patient treatment; and it means Carter BloodCare will perform an additional test on your donation. This test will evaluate the antibody concentration to determine if it is enough to meet the new criteria for a dose of convalescent plasma for a patient.
Q: Can I reasonably assume that a positive antibody test result means I have some protection from this virus?
A: Individuals recovered from COVID-19 or who were asymptomatic with a positive antibody test result, should continue to practice caution. It is not currently known whether the presence of antibodies provides immunity to ongoing or future viral exposure. The virus may be continuously changing (mutating) over time in our community.
Q: How long do COVID-19 antibodies last in a donor’s system/ how long am I considered a qualified CCP donor?
A: Currently, no one knows for sure how long the antibodies last in a recovered COVID-19 patient, or in someone who was asymptomatic and tested positive for antibodies. However, Carter BloodCare will conduct a second test on your donation to determine if your convalescent plasma has enough of the antibodies to make the current convalescent plasma dose for a patient. There are new FDA requirements for qualifying the plasma for patient treatment and Carter BloodCare will follow those.
Your antibody test might conclude that you will not be eligible to continue donating CCP and, in that case, we welcome you to continue as a blood donor for the 600 to 800 community patients, daily, in need of blood transfusions.
Q: Will frequent convalescent plasma donation deplete my antibodies or diminish my ability to fight off the virus if I am exposed again?
A: The antibodies removed during your donation are only a fraction of the total antibodies in your body – and they are promptly replaced by antibody stores that are located in tissues elsewhere in your body.