About antibody testing
Vitalant is testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. We are providing an initial test, followed up by a supplemental test for those who qualify, to help identify donors who could help COVID-19 patients by becoming future convalescent plasma donors. Learn more about eligibility for convalescent plasma donation.
Antibodies are proteins within plasma that help fight off infections. Because antibodies are part of the body's immune response and not the virus itself, antibody testing cannot be used to diagnose current coronavirus infection. Please postpone your donation if you are feeling unwell or suspect you may have COVID-19. Individuals must be symptom free for at least 28 days to be eligible to give blood.
- Available to all blood, platelet and plasma donors who successfully complete their donation (intended for patient transfusion).
- Appointments are not required, but strongly recommended.
- Antibody testing is part of a full panel of tests Vitalant performs on every blood donation, so opting out of this testing is not possible.
- Donors are not charged for the test and costs are subsidized, in part, by The Blood Center Foundation of the Inland Northwest, Blood Science Foundation, The Bonfils Blood Center Donor Advised Fund and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Testing available for the foreseeable future.
- Confidential test results are available in your private, online donor account approximately 2 weeks after your donation.
- Learn more about your test results, including the tests Vitalant uses.
- To tell if someone has an active, COVID-19 infection, a viral nucleic acid test on a nose or throat swab is necessary. The antibody test is not a diagnostic test.
- Having COVID-19 antibodies is not harmful to you, and it is not harmful if transfused to a patient. In fact, these antibodies have special lifesaving potential. Studies have shown that transfusing the plasma from a person who has recovered from COVID-19 (convalescent plasma) into a patient still fighting the disease may help boost the patient’s immune system and potentially assist in recovery. Learn more about eligibility for convalescent plasma donation.
- Over time, antibody-producing cells may shut down when our body determines that an immune response is no longer needed. As a result, some donors exposed to SARS-CoV-2 who first test positive for antibodies may test negative at a subsequent donation.
- The best course of action if you want confirmation of your current antibody status is to follow up with your health care provider.
- Questions? Call us at 877-258-4825