Can I donate convalescent plasma after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?
You may not donate COVID-19 convalescent plasma after you have been vaccinated.
If you received an mRNA vaccine such as Pfizer or Moderna, you may donate platelets, regular plasma and red cellsimmediately after vaccination as long as you are feeling well and all other donor criteria are met.
If you received an attenuated virus vaccine such as AstraZeneca, you may donate platelets, regular plasma and red cells 2 weeks after vaccination as long as you are feeling well and all other donor criteria are met.
Is SARS Cov2 the same as COVID-19?
Yes, SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19 (the disease).
How long does CP donation take and how often can I donate?
There are two ways to donate CP. It can be donated like a regular whole blood donation with the plasma portion of your blood separated and available for COVID-19 patients, or it can be collected via automation. The frequency and criteria for each donation vary depending on donatation type, but donors should plan on 60-90 minutes.
Whole blood/convalescent plasma (CP): You can donate whole blood every 56 days or up to 6 times a year. Whole blood donation typically takes 1 hour from start to finish, but the actual donation is typically 10-12 minutes.
Automated convalescent plasma (CP): If you meet specific requirements, you can donate automated CP every 7 days up to 8 times. After the 8th donation, you can donate plasma every 28 days. Automated Apheresis CP the apheresis device is 45-50 minutes, but the total visit time including medical screening is about 75 minutes.
What is the process for CP donation?
Potential CP donors must complete the CP donor request form at nybc.org/cpdonor. NYBC will determine the most appropriate way for you to donate CP (whole blood or automated). A daytime phone number and email must be provided. It may take NYBC a few days to contact you, given the volume of submissions and time needed for form review and approval.
What documentation of positive diagnostic testing do CP donors need to submit?
Donors can submit either positive COVID-19 test results or positive antibody test results. All potential CP donors must attach through the NYBC CP donor registration form a copy of their test results which states the following: donor's first and last name, date of test, name of testing facility, and results. In some cases, a prescription or note from their physician, which must list their physician’s name and address and attest to the diagnosis of COVID-19, will be accepted. Donors whose testing was performed by the NYS DOH can print results of their testing at www.bioreference.com/patient-portal.
Does NYBC accept a screenshot(s) of diagnostic testing results?
Yes, if the screenshot image(s) include the potential CP donor’s first and last name, date of test, and the name of the testing facility.
Can CP donors with complete resolution of symptoms be placed on the schedule prior to completing their 14-day deferral period?
No, NYBC does not book donors until they can attest to being symptom-free for 14 days, in case symptoms return during that time.
Can CP donors direct their donation to a family member who is ill from COVID-19?
NYBC is not doing directed donations. NYBC is focusing on building an inventory that can meet all patient needs.
How should CP donors prepare for donation?
Donors should eat, hydrate, and get a good night’s sleep before donating. Visit the Donation Process page for more information on how to prepare for donation.
Do donors need to wear a mask while donating?
Yes, and donors should bring their own mask, but NYBC can provide one if needed.
What is the purpose of an antibody test in CP donors?
The purpose is to make sure that plasma collected from a CP donor actually contains the expected antibodies against the virus. The antibody testing will be performed with each plasma collection, not just with the first donation, in order to make sure that antibody remains present.
Can CP donors find out their antibody test results?
Yes, donors will receive a letter in the mail with their antibody results after their first CP donation. If the donor’s antibody results are negative, and they have future CP donation appointments scheduled, they will be notified in order to cancel or modify the appointments.
How can CP donors find out their blood type?
Donors can access their blood type in the Donor Portal after donation.
What are the donor criteria for donating CP?
Donors must meet all standard allogeneic blood donor criteria, and thus may be deferred for reasons unrelated to COVID-19. In addition, they must be at least 14 days from the date of complete symptom resolution.
Is the deferral date set 14 days from the date of resolution of any symptoms related to COVID-19, or from the date of resolution of cough, fever, fatigue, or shortness of breath?
CP donors are asked to defer donation until they have been symptom-free for 14 days. Simply put, they should be afebrile (no fever), not feeling viremic (flu-like symptoms of muscle aches, pain and general tiredness) and free from cough. Donors are eligible to donate if they still lack return of sense of smell and taste (this is not counted in the 14 days asymptomatic).
What is the criteria for the CP donor's temperature?
Donors must meet all standard allogeneic blood donor criteria. NYBC criteria for temperature is ≤ 99.5 °F.
Can CP donors who are diabetic still donate?
Yes, as long as the diabetes is well controlled. They should make sure to eat and hydrate prior to their appointment.
Can CP donors with sickle cell trait donate?
Yes, CP donors with sickle cell trait can donate.
What determines how much plasma is collected from an automated CP donor?
The donors height, weight, and gender determine the amount we collect.
Does NYBC accept CP donors who had a positive diagnostic test and have been symptom-free for at least 14 days, but on re-testing are still positive?
Yes, irrespective of re-testing results, donors are eligible to donate if they have been symptom-free for at least 14 days. Studies support that although nasopharyngeal swabs may remain positive for weeks after resolution of symptoms, CP donors are no longer contagious, which is also supported by public health guidelines. For extra precaution, CP donors and staff wear masks during collection.
Does NYBC accept CP donors who were completely asymptomatic with their COVID-19 infection?
Yes—they are eligible to donate 14 days after their test date.
Does NYBC accept CP donors who did not get testing for diagnosis of COVID-19, but have positive antibody testing results?
Yes, CP donors who did not receive diagnostic testing for COVID-19 by nasopharyngeal PCR, but are confirmed to have antibodies to COVID-19, are eligible to donate. We will confirm that you still have antibodies before we use your donation for COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma.
Is there a deferral period for a CP donor who has been in close contact with someone that is positive for COVID-19?
If you had a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, CDC considers you to be protected for at least 3 months after your illness. If you have a close-contact exposure to someone else with COVID during that 3 month period, you are not required to quarantine and are still eligible to donate. After 3 months, you should follow the CDC guidelines for the general public for self-quarantine after exposure.
Can CP donors be re-infected with COVID-19?
There are a small number of reinfections reported in the literature to date, and it may take much more time for scientists to fully answer this question. For further questions, please speak with your healthcare provider.
Would weekly donation diminish a CP donor’s own protective antibodies?
Plasma donation does not lower antibody levels, even when donating as frequently as twice weekly. The body can make more antibodies, and donation takes out only a small amount.
Are CP donor units released to hospitals before confirmation that their antibody test is positive?
No, we test for antibodies prior to releasing the unit.
What are other reassurances that CP donors are no longer infectious?
CDC guidelines, which state that as long as they are 10 days from symptom onset, confirmed COVID-positive people, are allowed to discontinue home isolation after 24 hours of absence of fever and improvement in respiratory symptoms. For additional safety, both donor specialists and donors must wear masks, which help prevent the spread of potentially infectious respiratory secretions.