QUESTIONS?

For questions about donation, please contact 1-877-332-6585.

PLANNING FOR YOUR DONATION

Are blood and plasma donation centers still collecting COVID-19 plasma?

Yes, some blood donation centers are collecting plasma from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19. Please check with your local blood or plasma donation center to learn about ways to help others. Individual centers will share their needs for blood, plasma, or COVID-19 plasma donations. If COVID-19 plasma is not being collected at that location, please consider donating blood or plasma.

Why am might I be asked to donate blood or plasma, instead of COVID-19 plasma?

The fight is in you as a blood and plasma donor too! Current inventories of COVID-19 plasma may be sufficient to meet patients’ needs in your area. Although your COVID-19 plasma may not be needed at a given time, your blood or plasma donation is always needed to treat patients with other medical conditions, including patients with severe burns and other traumatic injuries. For many patients there are no alternative treatments. A single blood donation will be made into a unit of red blood cells and a unit of plasma that means you will be helping at least two patients each time you donate blood. Your plasma donation will be used to make up to five live-saving medicines.

Please consider scheduling an appointment to donate plasma or blood for patients who need help in your area.

What is the best time to donate?

You should be symptom-free for at least 14 days before plasma donation. Donation within 6 months is encouraged.

Does plasma donation reduce my antibody levels?

Donating plasma will not reduce your antibody level, nor weaken your immune system. Donating plasma is sharing your antibodies, not giving them away.

Because antibody levels decrease naturally over time we encourage you to donate as early as you are eligible to do so, and as many times as allowed by your donor center.

How should I prepare for my donation?

Donating blood plasma is similar to giving blood. If you can tolerate donating blood, or giving blood during medical appointments, you should be comfortable donating blood plasma. Highly trained staff will take great care to minimize any possible discomfort.

In rare occasions, some donors might feel faint or weak. Personnel at the donor center are trained to recognize and deal with any adverse event that might occur. Eating a healthy meal and drinking plenty of water before and after your donation will help you feel well after your donation. If you have a history of feeling faint at the sight of blood, please let the donor center staff know.

What precautions are blood and plasma donor centers taking to ensure the safety of donors?

Thousands of people safely donate plasma every day. The collection process uses sterile tubing and supplies for each donation. The tubing and supplies are discarded after each collection and are never reused. Blood does not come in contact with the collection machine.

These are a few of the extra precautions that donor centers are taking:

  • Pre-entry screening
  • Following social distancing guidelines
  • Enhanced personal protective equipment used by staff
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures
Where can I donate in the United States?

There are hundreds of FDA licensed donor centers across the United States. Find the nearest donor centers, sorted by distance from you.

Can I donate more than once?

Yes! Individuals who have fully recovered from COVID-19 and are willing to donate their blood or plasma are encouraged to donate on a regular basis. The blood supply is very fragile because donations from a very small percentage of our population provide all of the blood and plasma to meet the needs of patients. There is an urgent need for plasma right now due to continued impacts from COVID-19. Plasma donors are needed now more than ever to make critical medicines because patients depend on your generosity that helps them lead a more normal life. Donor centers may have additional guidelines so call ahead for more information.

I have young children. Can I bring them with me?

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, donors are asked to visit blood and plasma donor centers without accompanying guests or children. This is for the health and safety of you and your loved ones as well as other donors and staff.

Do I need to change my diet?

It is recommended that you eat a light but healthy meal three hours before your donation. This means a meal that is high in protein (such as eggs, fish, or nuts), rich in iron (such as tuna, lean red meat, nuts, or beans), and low in fat (fatty or fried foods can interfere with laboratory testing). Since blood plasma is 90% water, you should also be well-hydrated, so drink plenty of water, juice, or other fluids and reduce your caffeine intake the day before your donation. Please do not drink any alcohol the night before or the day of your donation.

What do I need to bring with me to the blood and plasma donor center?

For routine blood donation, individuals must present a valid government-issued identification (Example: Driver’s License, Military ID, etc.). If you will be donating COVID-19 plasma, a blood center may ask if you have had COVID-19 symptoms and a positive diagnostic test for COVID-19, and that you have been symptom free for at least 14 days prior to donation.

To donate at a plasma donor center, individuals must present valid government-issued identification, proof of SSN, and proof of address. Some donor centers may have additional requirements. Call ahead to find out if you need to bring additional documentation with you.

Do I need to tell my insurance company that I am donating?

You do not need to inform your insurance provider. This is not a medical procedure and you will not be charged for your donation.

UNDERSTANDING DONATION ELIGIBILITY

Why do you need to know if I am at least 18 years old?

Some centers set 16 years as the minimum age for donors, and some 18 years. Based on your answer, we surface the correct list of donor centers. If you are under the age of 18, parental consent may be required for blood collection.

Why do you need to know that I weigh at least 110 pounds?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") requires that this question be asked as the FDA requires donors to weigh at least 110 pounds.

Why do you need to know if I have ever had a confirmed positive test for HIV, or Hepatitis B or C?

The FDA requires that these questions be asked. A person who has tested positive for HIV is not eligible to donate. Never having had a positive test for Hepatitis B or C is also required by the FDA for donation at a plasma donor center. Your donated plasma will also be tested for transfusion-transmissible diseases, including HIV and Hepatitis B and C. Your responses to these question are used to determine donation eligibility.

Can I still donate if I have received a COVID-19 vaccine?

You can donate blood or plasma after a COVID-19 vaccination.

COVID-19 Plasma donors: If you received a COVID-19 vaccine after having COVID-19 infection and it is still within 6 months since your symptoms resolved/recovery from COVID-19 infection, you can donate COVID -19 plasma. These requirements are necessary to ensure that your COVID-19 convalescent plasma donation contains high levels of antibodies made by your immune system in response to the COVID-19 infection. High levels of antibodies following infection provide the best treatment for patients.

Can I donate plasma if I have received a COVID-19 vaccine but never had COVID-19 infection?

While your donation cannot be used to treat someone currently fighting COVID-19, please consider donating your plasma or blood for patients who are fighting other diseases. Blood and plasma are needed every day to treat patients with other medical conditions, including patients with severe burns and other traumatic injuries. There continues to an urgent need for plasma that is used to make critical medicines that help threat rare and chronic conditions.

Can I donate if I am pregnant? Can I donate if I recently gave birth?

A person who is currently pregnant is not eligible to donate for their safety. For six weeks after giving birth, a person is not eligible to donate at blood donor centers where their plasma will be used for transfusion. A person's blood will be tested for HLA antibodies, commonly seen after childbirth, which present no problems to the donor but pose a risk to patients receiving plasma transfusions. Additionally, for six months after giving birth, a person is not eligible to donate at a plasma donor center. Since their plasma is going to undergo additional manufacturing steps, they will not be tested for HLA antibodies. If you have any questions about eligibility, it is recommended that you call your local donor center.

ABOUT THE DATA COLLECTED

What is the role of Microsoft in the campaign?

Microsoft developed the donor recruitment website and self-qualification tool. The website and tool are hosted by The MITRE Corporation ("MITRE"), a not-for-profit organization that operates and manages federally funded research and development centers.

How will the data I enter be used?

MITRE will store the answers you provide and will share this non-personally identifiable data in an aggregated form with "The Fight Is In Us" campaign only to improve the COVID-19 plasma donation program. MITRE may also share aggregate findings with the public through journal publications, collaborations with other scientists, or postings to track developments in the fight against COVID-19.

Is any personally identifiable information ("PII") and/or protected health information ("PHI") collected or shared by MITRE?

No, PII and PHI are not collected or shared by MITRE.

Will MITRE sell my data?

No, MITRE will not sell your data.

Who should I contact if I have questions?

For questions about donation, please contact 877-PLASMA9 (877-752-7629). For press or partnership inquiries please contact info@thefightisinus.info.

What is the role of Bio-Linked in the campaign?

Bio-Linked™ is a secure, online registry that allows individuals to volunteer a few details of their recent infection with COVID-19 so that they can be identified as potential donors of COVID Convalescent Plasma (CCP). It allows users to be linked with healthcare organizations in their local area that collect this type of blood donation, which is one of the few treatment options currently showing promise in caring for patients severely ill with the new coronavirus. CCP is also being sought to develop a drug ("hyperimmune globulin") that may help COVID-19 patients in the near future. Registrants will be contacted by their chosen blood collection facility to discuss their eligibility to give CCP and to schedule appointments to donate. Participation is entirely voluntarily at each step in the process from registration through qualification and on to collection. Providing a streamlined process for recovered patients to give CCP, Bio-Linked speeds therapy to ill patients and helps assure sufficient CCP is available to all who may need it.