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...

MHS Reaches 6 Million Doses of Vaccine Against COVID

Article
11/10/2021
Airmen of the 139th Airlift Wing, Missouri Air National Guard, receive COVID-19 immunizations as a part of the federal mandate at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, St. Joseph, Missouri, Oct. 2, 2021. The 139th Medical Group oversees the operation. .

Military passes 6 million mark for COVID-19 shots administered across the Military Health System.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Information for Military Treatment Facility Directors

COVID 19 Vaccine Is Now Available for Children 5 to 11

Article
11/9/2021
5-year-old girl in mask reads a book by herself

COVID-19 vaccines for 5-11 year olds are ready now through MHS

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

More Than 95% of Active Duty Have Received COVID-19 Vaccine

Article
10/15/2021
Female hospital corpsman gives a COVID-19 vaccine injection to a sailor in her left arm

Service members continue to line up for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Information for Military Treatment Facility Directors

Mask Mouth Does Not Exist, Dentists Say

Article
10/6/2021
A bunch of children wearing face masks walk on a city street.

Mask mouth doesn’t exist, Internet chatter to the contrary, dentists say.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

COVID-19 Booster Shots are Now Available – What You Need to Know

Article
9/30/2021
Containers of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Each vial contains six doses for vaccination against the COVID-19 virus.

Booster shots are now recommended for millions of people – but many others will have to wait for additional approvals.

Recommended Content:

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

Myths & facts about the vax - debunking common COVID-19 vaccine myths

Article
9/29/2021
Myths and facts about the vax

The COVID-19 vaccine has been mandated across the Department of Defense and despite its demonstrated effectiveness and safety, a host of myths have left some Airmen and Guardians hesitant to receive it. While social media posts and some news outlets may make it harder to keep up with what is fact or fiction, the science is clear … approved COVID-19 vaccines work.

Recommended Content:

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

DODEA Schools Keeps On With In-Person Classes, and Fall Sports, Too

Article
9/23/2021
Kids playing football

DODEA schools are striving to continue in-person learning in the 2021-22 school year.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Coronavirus

The COVID-19 Pandemic: How Health Care Workers are Coping

Article
9/13/2021
a nurse helping a COVID-19 patient

For health care providers, experiencing the pandemic inside a hospital has brought

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Military Health Podcasts

Increased COVID Restrictions on the Pentagon Reservation

Article
9/8/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and positive test cases in the National Capital Region, the Pentagon Reservation will move to Health Protection Condition Bravo Plus (Bravo+)

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Digital health innovation emerges during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
8/31/2021
The Defense Health Agency’s Connected Health Branch was there to support, advise and deliver new health innovations throughout the pandemic. (Graphic courtesy of DHA Connected Health)

The DHA's Connected Health Branch was there to support, advise, and deliver new health innovations throughout the pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Connected Health | Coronavirus

As Fitness Tests Resume, Troops Seek Post-COVID Exercise Routines

Article
8/31/2021
Military personnel physically training

Keeping fit during pandemic proves hard for some.

Recommended Content:

Total Body Preventive Health and Total Force Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Coronavirus

Secretary of Defense Mandates COVID-19 Vaccinations for Service Members

Article
8/26/2021
An Army medic administers the COVID-19 vaccine to another soldier.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III yesterday issued a memorandum directing mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for service members.

Recommended Content:

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

DOD Intends to Mandate Pfizer Vaccine, Pentagon Official Says

Article
8/25/2021
Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby holds a press briefing, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Kirby said the health of DOD's military and civilian employees, families and communities is a top priority.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Maintaining Mission Readiness During a Pandemic

Article
8/24/2021
Gen. Place presents at HIMSS in Las Vegas.

DHA Director Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place discussed the national security implications of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Coronavirus | Deployment Health

Reform, COVID-19 Have Been Catalysts for Change in Military Medicine

Article
8/16/2021
Dr. Terry Adirim speaking to an audience at a conference

Healthcare is about taking care of people, so no amount of change or innovation is ever sufficient if modernization does not lead to helping patients, says acting ASDHA at HIMSS21 in Las Vegas.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Military Health System Transformation
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 26

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.