Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

DoD launches effort to collect COVID-19 convalescent plasma

Image of man wearing mask and giving blood Donald Perry, a Fort Bragg civilian employee, recently recovered from COVID-19 and donated his plasma at the Fort Bragg Blood Donor Center May 7. (Photo by Twana Atkinson)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 may hold treatment in their veins that could help others who are critically ill with the respiratory infection.

The Department of Defense has begun an effort to collect 8,000 donated units of plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 to support the development of an effective treatment against the disease.

“We may want to ask you to stick your arm out and donate blood,” Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said in a May 28 virtual town hall. “What that can then do is help others who are severely ill, and if we can do that, then we’ll be on a good path toward getting some really powerful therapeutics.”

Donations will be accepted at 15 Armed Services Blood Program centers across the continental United States, and in Hawaii, Guam and Germany. (A complete list of centers accepting donations appears at the end of this article, and is available online.)

Patients fully recovered from COVID-19 are the only ones who qualify to be a COVID-19 convalescent plasma donor, said Army Col. Audra Taylor, chief of the Armed Services Blood Program. DOD personnel and their families, as well as non-DOD civilians with access to collection facilities on installations, are welcome to donate.

"Our goal as a lifesaving program is to always provide a safe and ample supply of blood products. The need is now,” Taylor stressed. “We are calling for all who are healthy, able, and eligible, to donate today to help us all stand mission ready and save lives."

Why convalescent plasma is collected

When a person contracts SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, their immune systems create antibodies to fight the virus. These antibodies are found in the plasma—the liquid part of blood, Taylor explained.

Plasma with infection-fighting antibodies is called convalescent plasma, she said. Through the blood donation process, this plasma is collected from a donor who has recovered from COVID-19 and may be transfused into a sick patient who is still fighting the virus, if they qualify for this type of treatment. The procedure may boost the immune system of the patient and help with the recovery process, Taylor said.

The collection process for this type of plasma is the same as standard apheresis collection, she noted. It is being investigated for the treatment of COVID-19 because there is no approved treatment for the disease at this time, and there is some indication that it might help some patients recover from COVID-19.

Several COVID-19 patients in the Military Health System have received convalescent plasma transfusions as part of their treatment, Taylor said. The treatment, which must be carried out under an approved protocol, is used for those hospitalized and severely ill with the disease.

Eligibility requirements

Donating CCP is the same as a standard platelet or plasma donation and must meet specific requirements set by the Food and Drug Administration. Donors must be at least 17 years and older, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in good health. Women who have ever been pregnant may need additional testing for specific human leukocyte antigen antibodies that may be present in their blood. In addition to these standard requirements, those who have fully recovered from COVID-19 must be symptom-free for at least 14 days. Donors must also produce documented laboratory test results proving they tested positive for the virus, Taylor explained.

“If a donor believes they meet these requirements, they must first contact the local blood donor center before coming in, and if they qualify, set up an appointment,” said Army Col. Jason Corley, Army Blood Program director. “Once set up, the donor must bring the required documentation and undergo the standard donation procedure. Final determination will be made by the medical director or designee.”


ASBP Centers Collecting Convalescent Plasma

— Armed Services Blood Bank Center, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland

— Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Blood Donor Center, Portsmouth, Virginia

— Fort Bragg Blood Donor Center, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

— Kendrick Memorial Blood Center, Fort Gordon, Georgia

— Sullivan Memorial Blood Center, Fort Benning, Georgia

— Blood Donor Center, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi

— Lackland Air Force Base Armed Services Blood Bank Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas

— Robertson Blood Center, Fort Hood, Texas

— Akeroyd Blood Donor Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas

— Fort Bliss Blood Donor Center, Fort Bliss, Texas

— Naval Medical Center San Diego Blood Donor Center, San Diego, California

— Armed Services Blood Bank Center – Pacific Northwest, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

— Tripler AMC Blood Donor Center, Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii

— Naval Hospital Blood Donor Center, Guam

— Armed Services Blood Bank Center Europe, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany

Links to More Information

Armed Services Blood Program

ASBP COVID-19-specific page

Blood Drive and Donor Registration

— Facebook: militaryblood 

— Twitter: @militaryblood 

— Instagram: @usmilitaryblood

You also may be interested in...

VAX Facts: Do I Need the Vaccine if I Had COVID?

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins talks about the importance of getting vaccinated even if you already had COVID. We're not sure how long natural immunity lasts, so getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Are mRNA vaccines safe?

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins explains the years of research and ongoing monitoring to show how mRNA vaccines are safe and effective.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

“Shots in arms” – OPT planned & coordinated to meet COVID-19 mission

Article
5/28/2021
Military personnel sitting around a table talking

The Department of Defense’s COVID-19 Operational Planning Team has been the quiet force behind the DOD’s vaccination effort since November.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

COVID-19 Vaccination Card Second Shot

Infographic
5/27/2021
Graphic saying that keeping track of your vaccination card is important. Includes a helpful tips section, a link to www.tricare.mil/covidvaccine, and what to do when you didn’t get your vaccination card or don’t have a copy. The TRICARE logo is on the bottom right of the page.

Keep track of your vaccination card. Tips include keeping your card on you and taking a picture of it as a backup copy.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Costs and Documentation | Coronavirus

Adolescents ages 12 and older eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations

Article
5/27/2021
Son of military personnel receiving his COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer vaccine now authorized for children 12 and older.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Town Hall May 26 2021

Video
5/26/2021
Town Hall May 26 2021

RADM Anne Swap will discuss the National Capital Region's response to COVID-19

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | National Capital Region Market

COVID-19 Town Hall with RADM Anne M. Swap

Article
5/24/2021
MHS and Military OneSource NCR COVID-19 Town Hall with Rear Admiral Anne M. Swap, Director, National Capital Medical Directorate, Wednesday, May 26 at 11:50 a.m. ET

The purpose of this event is to inform National Capital Region (NCR) beneficiaries of DHA’s efforts with battling coronavirus (COVID-19) and encourage them to not delay care.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | MHS and Military OneSource To Your Health

Adirim, Place laud DHA response to COVID-19 in briefing

Article
5/21/2021
Defense Health Agency Director Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place speaking at a press conference

Dr. Terry Adirim, acting assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, and Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, provided a COVID-19 update during a Pentagon press briefing.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Sailors continue to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Article
5/20/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask receiving the COVID-19 vaccine

Sailors continue to voluntarily receive one of the three available COVID-19 vaccines.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

DHA Director visits MCAGCC to hear from the ‘Boots on the Ground’

Article
5/19/2021
Military personnel wearing face masks walking

DHA Director visits Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms.

Recommended Content:

Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Military Health System Transformation | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

MHS quickly adapted to improve patient experience during pandemic

Article
5/19/2021
Military health personnel waiting for the next phone call on the COVID-19 advice line

MHS adapted technology to boost patient experience during pandemic

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Palliative care provides comfort to COVID-19 patients, families

Article
5/17/2021
Military health personnel taking care of a patient

Medical Center team develops palliative care toolkit for COVID-19 patients

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Military medicine heroes recognized for COVID-19 pandemic response

Article
5/17/2021
Photo of the virtual "Heroes of Military Medicine" award ceremony

COVID-19 pandemic will affect military medicine for years to come, DHA Director Place tells HJF awards ceremony.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

DHA leadership recognizes, advances 60th MDG mission

Article
5/14/2021
Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place visits Travis Air Force Base

DHA leadership visit 60th Medical Group at Travis AFB.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS

Teamwork, adaptability, service – MTFs shine during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
5/14/2021
People at screening area

MHS readiness was put to the test at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, in early 2020.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Toolkit | May | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 61 - 75 Page 5 of 36

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.