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

COVID-19 Convalescent plasma collection continues

Three units of CCP laying on a table The COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma, or CCP, collection campaign was a significant success in 2020. The DOD surpassed its goal by collecting more than 10,000 CCP units. The collection of CCP will to continue next year as well. (Photo by Jaciyn Matanane, Naval Hospital Guam.)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Armed Services Blood Program

The Defense Health Agency’s COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma, or CCP, collection was a significant success in 2020, exceeding its goal and helping more than 200 Department of Defense beneficiaries who had been hospitalized with the deadly disease.

The DOD campaign resulted in the acquisition of 10,745 units of the plasma donated by active-duty personnel, military retirees, their families, and non-DOD civilians who were designated as fully recovered from COVID-19. The goal of the secretary’s campaign, which ended Sept. 30, had been to collect 10,000 CCP units.

The Defense Health Agency (DHA) launched this donation drive on June 1 through its more than 20 Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) centers across the continental United States and overseas to collect plasma to support the development of an effective treatment for those seriously ill with the virus.

As of Nov. 30, 204 patients within the MHS had been transfused 322 units of CCP, said ASBP Division Chief Army Col. Audra Taylor. Typically, one or two units are administered to each patient. At the outset of COVID, when CCP became available as an investigational product by the Food and Drug Administration, the treatment was for severely ill patients.

“Since those early days, the recommendations for treatment are earlier,” Taylor noted.

Almost all patients who require supplemental oxygen now also get CCP, noted Air Force Col. Stacy Shackelford, Joint Trauma System chief.

The immune system of a COVID-19-positive patient creates infection-fighting antibodies contained in their plasma. Plasma with these infection-fighting antibodies is called "convalescent plasma." By donating blood or plasma, a patient who has recovered fully provides CCP rich in antibodies to a sick patient who is still fighting the virus to boost their immune system and help them recover.

Female technician making sure bags of CCP are secure
Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bailey Carter, assigned to U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, secures blood donations collected from sailors who recovered from COVID-19 this spring. The DOD surpassed its goal by collecting more than 10,000 CCP units. (Photo by Jaciyn Matanane, Naval Hospital Guam.)

Since the close of the initial CCP drive, the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) has transitioned to a plan to ensure adequate supplies of CCP for future DOD beneficiaries.

“The ASBP recruiters and blood donor centers continue to use the tools and processes developed for the recruitment of potential donors to support the sustainment of the Department of Defense CCP inventory,” Taylor said, adding that “the designated inventory levels sustain the Military Health System, including the combatant commands.”

Unfortunately, CCP has a one-year shelf life, so collected units will begin to expire in 2021.

Therefore, there is no end date for collection, Taylor noted. A new CCP collection challenge comes with the new COVID-19 vaccines, which, when approved by FDA and distributed for vaccination, will “have an impact on the availability of potential donors as the vaccines come with a deferral period,” she explained.

At a Nov. 16 ceremony honoring the success of the CCP drive, Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, said: “In my opinion, that’s the best kind of outcome for our health system.”

The reforms to military medicine remain inspired by the belief that a well-integrated organization across functions, across military departments, and unified in its strategic execution, both internally and with our partners in civilian medicine, strengthens the health and readiness of our force, he explained.

To donate convalescent plasma, donors must meet basic donation requirements. Donations can be done through whole blood or apheresis, a form of plasma collection.

To qualify for the program, participants must:

  • Have evidence of COVID-19 documented by two FDA-approved serological tests for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies after recovery, if prior diagnostic testing was not performed at the time COVID-19 was suspected.
  • Have a complete resolution of symptoms at least 14 days before donation.
  • Undergo potential additional testing if ever pregnant to determine if HLA antibodies have developed.

The DOD’s primary goals against the pandemic are to protect its people, maintain readiness and support the national COVID-19 response. In addition to aiding in the development of new therapeutic treatments for COVID-19-positive patients in DOD facilities, CCP contributes to the overall efforts to combat the disease, thus helping accomplish each of those goals.

You also may be interested in...

Pregnancy Health Alert: COVID-19 Vaccine is Strongly Recommended

Article
10/20/2021
Pregnant women gets the COVID-19 vaccine

Get vaccinated for COVID-19 if you’re pregnant or trying, DOD and CDC and advise.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Women's Health

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

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

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

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 | Heroes Behind the Mask | 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

Don't Hesitate: Vaccinate Today for School

Article
8/13/2021
A boy gets the COVID-19 vaccine

Back to School Means Vaccine Time

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Vaccine Recommendations | Children's Health | Immunizations | TRICARE Health Program
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 27

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.