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Vitalant tests blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies

FDA relaxes guidance on giving blood, reduces referral period for gay men from 1 year to 3 months
Posted at 7:11 AM, Jun 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-01 08:11:58-04

Vitalant says it is now testing all blood donations for antibodies to COVID-19.

The nonprofit announced Monday, June 1 that test results are being provided to donors who complete a successful blood donation.

The test, which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, indicates to donors whether their immune system has produced antibodies to the virus, regardless of if donors ever showed symptoms.

According to Vitalant, the broad use of antibody tests and clinical follow-up will provide the medical community with more information on whether a person who has recovered from COVID-19 is at a lower risk of infection, and if so, for how long.

"While a positive antibody test does not mean that someone is immune to COVID-19, it does mean that they may be eligible to donate convalescent plasma in the future and help people with the disease," said Cliff Numark, Vitalant's Chief of Marketing. "Convalescent plasma can be given directly to patients currently battling COVID-19 to help boost their ability to fight their illness."

Vitalant began collecting and distributing convalescent plasma in April. For more information, click here.

Donations of all blood types are critically needed right now, with an especially high need for type O, A-negative and B-negative red blood cells. Platelets are also needed.

Donors are urged to give blood as soon as possible. Appointments are strongly recommended: visit vitalant.org or call 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825).

The Vitalant donation center is located at 1503 Bertrand Drive in Lafayette.

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