Arizona Blood Donation Service Vitalant Now Testing For COVID-19 Antibodies
Two months ago, blood donor services in Arizona began collecting convalescent plasma donations to help expand coronavirus vaccine research.
This week, one company in the Valley is taking the next step forward by testing for COVID-19 antibodies in every blood donation.
Scottsdale-based Vitalant is one of the first national blood banks to test all of its donations for blood proteins that helped donors recover from the virus.
While this is not a test for COVID-19 itself, positive antibodies can be used to help current patients as well as contribute to medical research.
Vitalant spokeswoman Sue Thew says the need for blood donations is critical.
"Every single day in our state, approximately 600 blood donors are needed," Thew said. "It is our hope that by announcing this exciting new development in blood donation, it will make people even more excited about coming out and donating blood because they can make such a huge difference for patients.”
Thew says the need for blood donations increased by 25% since elective surgeries resumed in the Valley, and anyone who donates will receive the results from their blood sample, including any information about the presence of antibodies.
Those who are feeling unwell or symptomatic are strongly encouraged to hold off on donating blood until they are fully healthy.
Appointments for donations can be made at Vitalant.org.