Frequently asked questions
- What is the process for CP donation?
Potential CP donors must complete the CP donor request form and review general donor eligibility requirements. A daytime phone number and email must be provided. MBC will review your application and will contact you to schedule your appointment or to let you know if you meet the eligibility requirements. CP can be donated at MBC's Duluth and metro-area donor centers.
Please note that documentation of a positive COVID test is required to donate CP. This can either be provided upon submission of the form or during the application screening process. If you donated blood with MBC between December 14, 2020 and January 31, 2021 and received a letter stating your blood tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, you may use that letter as proof of a positive test. Please retain the letter.
We have had a number of inquiries about CP and many are eager to help out. Our team is working through the requests as quickly as possible.
- Am I eligible for CP donation?
In addition to general eligibility requirements, COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors must:
Have NOT received a COVID vaccine or participated in a vaccine trial
Have had a positive test for COVID-19 virus or a letter from MBC showing a positive test for COVID-19 antibodies
Positive virus or antibody test results must be provided either upon submission of the form or while scheduling your appointment
Results must be a non-editable document (text messages will not be accepted)
Document must include your full name, testing facility or physician, test name, date, and result
Have had no symptoms for at least 14 days
Be willing to donate plasma and meet FDA requirements
- What documentation of positive diagnostic testing do CP donors need to submit?
All potential CP donors are required to provide written documentation of either a positive disease test (a virus test for the presence of COVID-19) or a positive recovery test (verifying immunity has been obtained, also called an antibody test or immunity test). If you donated blood with MBC between December 14, 2020 and January 31, 2021 and received a letter showing a positive test for antibodies, you may use this documentation as well.
This documentation must:
Be submitted with the CP donor request form or provided during the screening process
Include your full name, testing facility or physician, test name, date, and result
Be a non-editable document (text messages are not accepted)
MBC does not test for COVID-19. Please contact your health care provider if you want to be tested.
- Does MBC accept a screenshot(s) of diagnostic testing results?
Yes, if the screenshot image(s) include the donor's full name, testing facility or physician, test name, date, and result.
- Will MBC test potential donors for COVID-19?
No, MBC does not test for COVID-19. Please contact your health care provider if you want to be tested.
- Can I donate after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?
No, you may not donate COVID-19 convalescent plasma after receiving a vaccine for COVID-19, regardless of the type of vaccine received.
- Can CP donors with complete symptom resolution make an appointment before 14 days pass?
No. Donors will not be scheduled until they can attest to being symptom-free for 14 days, in case symptoms return during the 14-day period.
- How long does CP donation take?
The actual time spent donating is about 45 minutes. Your appointment may take up to 90 minutes.
- How frequently can CP be donated?
CP donors can donate weekly for 4 weeks, or a total of 8 times. The minimum time between donations is 7 days.
- Can CP donors donate for someone they know who has COVID-19 (directed donation)?
MBC is focusing on building a public supply that can meet all patient needs, and is therefore not accepting directed CP donations.
- How should CP donors prepare for donation?
Donors should eat, hydrate, and get a good night’s sleep before donating. Read more tips for a successful donation.
- Do donors need to wear a mask while donating?
All donors are asked to bring and wear a face mask or face covering when presenting to donate.
- What is the purpose of an antibody test in CP donors?
The purpose of an antibody test, also called a recovery or immunity test, is to make sure that plasma collected from a CP donor actually contains the expected antibodies against the virus.
- 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.
- Is the deferral date set 14 days from the date of resolution of any symptoms related to COVID-19?
CP donors are asked to defer donation until they have been symptom-free for at least 14 days. At the time of donation, the donor should not have a fever, should not be experiencing flu-like symptoms of muscle aches, pain, and general tiredness, and should be free from cough. Donors are eligible to donate if they still lack return of sense of smell and taste after at least 14 days.
- What is the criteria for the CP donor's temperature?
Donors must meet the standard eligibility requirement, which is ≤ 99.5 °F.
- Are people with diabetes eligible to donate CP?
Yes, as long as the diabetes is well controlled and the donor feels healthy and well on the day of donation. Make sure to eat and drink plenty of fluids prior to your appointment.
- Are people with sickle cell trait eligible to donate CP?
Yes, people who have sickle cell trait are eligible to donate CP.
- What determines how much plasma is collected from a CP donor?
Individual factors such as the donor’s height, weight, and gender determine the amount collected.
- Does MBC accept donors who have been symptom-free for at least 14 days and then re-test positive?
Yes, donors are eligible to donate if they have been symptom-free for at least 14 days, regardless of test results. This is because studies support that although nasopharyngeal swabs may remain positive for weeks after resolution of symptoms, CP donors are no longer contagious. This is also supported by public health guidelines. For extra precaution, all donors and staff are wearing masks during collection.
- Does MBC accept CP donors who were completely asymptomatic with their COVID-19 infection?
Yes—they are eligible to donate starting 14 days after a positive antibody test.
- Does MBC accept donors who did not get tested for diagnosis but have positive antibody test results?
Yes, CP donors who did not receive diagnostic testing for COVID-19 by nasopharyngeal swab, but are confirmed to have antibodies to COVID-19, are eligible to donate.
- Is there a deferral period for a CP donor who’s had close contact with someone that’s positive?
There are no contact-related deferrals for CP donors, including healthcare workers, because they are considered to be immune to re-infection while they have antibodies against the virus.
- Can CP donors be re-infected with COVID-19?
It is not likely, as long as they have antibodies against the virus. However, there is no evidence that those who have had COVID-19 are immune from the virus. For that reason, it is important to continue to wear a mask in public, practice good hand washing hygiene, and maintain adequate social distancing.
- Would weekly donation diminish a CP donor’s own protective antibodies?
Plasma donation does not lower antibody levels overall, even when donating as frequently as twice weekly. The body can make more antibodies, and donation removes only a small amount.
- Why are CP donor units released to hospitals before confirmation of a positive antibody test?
Studies show that 90-100% of COVID-positive people are antibody positive by 14 days after complete resolution of symptoms, and 80% of those have high titers (meaning that tests show a high level of antibodies in their system).