COVID-19 and Convalescent Plasma Donation

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Donation

Recovered from COVID-19? Your plasma may help other patients. Submit Interest Form

We are temporarily deferring donors that have traveled outside the U.S. in the last 10 days. Travel to Baja, Mexico is acceptable.

How can my plasma help other patients?

While COVID-19 has no proven treatment, plasma donated by those who have recovered (called convalescent plasma) may help patients fighting COVID-19. This is because your body has developed antibodies against the virus. Historically, convalescent plasma has been successfully used to treat similar diseases such as the Spanish Flu, SARS, MERS, and H1N1.

How do I qualify to donate COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP)?

The first step is to fill out a form at to express interest in donating CCP.

You may qualify if you had:

  1. A positive diagnostic test and have not had symptoms for 10 days  
  2. A positive test, have not had symptoms for 10 days, and have a subsequent negative PCR test
  3. Donors must also meet the standard requirements for blood donation and will be screened at the time of donation.

Donors must also meet the standard requirements for blood donation and will be screened at the time of donation.

Can I donate convalescent plasma if I receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

You are eligible to donate convalescent plasma after receiving a vaccine if: 

  • You received the AstraZeneca, Janssen, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Novavax or Pfizer vaccine AFTER being diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • ​You had symptoms of COVID-19 and a positive diagnostic COVID-19 PCR test result and can provide a copy of those test results. Symptoms vary but could include, shortness of breath, cough, fever or chills, fatigue, headache, loss of smell/taste, nausea, diarrhea and body aches. Asymptomatic individuals are ineligible to donate convalescent plasma after receiving the vaccine.  ​

Please note:

  • If you are unsure of the name of the COVID-19 vaccine you received or if it is not listed above, you will be deferred from donation for 14 days. 
  • ​You are eligible to donate convalescent plasma if you received the COVID-19 vaccine after diagnosis of COVID-19 and are within 6 months after complete resolution of COVID-19 symptoms. If you are still experiencing loss of taste and smell, you may still be eligible to donate.  
  • ​If you receive a vaccine then subsequently test positive for antibodies after donation at SCBB, that does not qualify you to donate convalescent plasma. 
  • ​If you are interested in donating convalescent plasma after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination and/or have further questions, please call (619) 400-8182.

Does getting the COVID-19 vaccine give you COVID-19 antibodies?

After receiving the vaccine, you may test positive for antibodies; however, you are not eligible to donate convalescent plasma at this time. The FDA is working on updating guidelines, as more information about the vaccines and convalescent plasma donation become available. Until then, those who have recovered from COVID-19 and those that have been vaccinated may donate whole blood, plasma, or platelets, which are greatly needed.

Where can I donate plasma?

Once you are qualified, Southern California Blood Bank staff will help you find a convenient location.

What if I don’t have a copy of my antibody test results?

Southern California Blood Bank can work with your healthcare provider to obtain proper records.

How many people will my plasma donation help?

Each plasma donation is usually 800-1000 mL and one dose for a COVID-19 patient is 200-250 mL. Your CCP donation can help as many as 3-4 people fight this virus!

What is the donation process for donating convalescent plasma?

Plasma is donated through a process called apheresis. Your blood is collected and processed in real time to separate the plasma and return the rest of the blood components (red blood cells and platelets) back to you. The entire process, including registration and recovering in the canteen area for 15 minutes post donation takes approximately 75 minutes.

When I donate plasma do I lose all my antibodies that help my own immunity?

Much like regular blood and plasma donation, only some of the circulating antibodies are collected from COVID convalescent plasma (CCP) donation. The vast majority of cells which make antibodies are maintained by the donor. There is no clinical evidence to support an adverse impact on immunocompetence in blood donors.

How often can I donate COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP)?

Normal plasma donation intervals are every 4 weeks. Depending on how much is plasma donated at one time, you may be able to donate convalescent plasma (CCP) more frequently. Southern California Blood Bank will work with you directly to determine what is appropriate.

COVID-19 and Convalescent Plasma Donation | Southern California Blood Bank


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