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...

DHA-PI 6205.01: Medical Logistics Guidance for the DoD Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI), based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (n), establishes the Defense Health Agency's (DHA's) procedures for ordering, receiving, and managing COVID-19 Vaccines inventory and ancillary kits.

DHA-IPM 20-004: Department of Defense (DoD) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Implementation

Policy

This Defense Health Agency (DHA) Interim Procedures Memorandum (IPM), based on the authority of References (a) through (d), and in accordance with the guidance cited in References (e) through (aa), establishes the DHA’s procedures to implement instructions, assign responsibilities, and prescribe procedures for the COVID-19 Vaccination Program. This DHA-IPM applies to DHA, DHA Components (activities under the authority direction, and control of the DHA), Military Departments (MILDEP), and the United States Coast Guard (CG). This DHA-IPM cancels and replaces DHA-IPM 20-004, “Department of Defense (DoD) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Implementation,” December 13, 2020.

TAB A MEO COVID19 Medical Coding Policy

Policy

Memorandum for DHA Staff - Military Medical Treatment Facilities to Implement Updated DHA COVID-19 Medical Coding Policy

  • Identification #: N/A
  • Date: 3/25/2021
  • Type: Memorandums
  • Topics: Coronavirus

DHA COVID19 Medical Coding PolicyV5 1v

Policy

Establishes the DHA procedures to standardize the coding for Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) within military medical treatment facilities (MTFs). This memorandum replaces DHA-Policy Memorandum 20-003 of July 1, 2020. Attachment 1 was updated to include the 2021 procedure and diagnosis codes for COVID-19, including the new vaccination and treatment codes.

  • Identification #: 20-003
  • Date: 3/25/2021
  • Type: Memorandums
  • Topics: Coronavirus

Supplemental Guidance for Providing DoD Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccines to DoD Contractor Employees and Select Foreign Nationals

Policy

This memorandum provides supplemental guidance on the provision of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines, in accordance with reference (a). The Defense Health Agency (DHA) is the lead coordinating DoD Component for executing this guidance, in coordination with the Military Departments and other DoD Components as appropriate.

HA Guidance for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Laboratory Pre-Testing Questionnaire

Policy

This memorandum provides guidance for a COVID-19 laboratory pre-testing questionnaire that will be mandatory for all Active Duty Service members and encouraged for all other DoD beneficiaries treated at military medical treatment facilities.

Executive Order on Ensuring Access to United States Government COVID-19 Vaccines

Policy

This EO outlines who should receive priority access to COVID-19 vaccines developed in the United States or procured by the United States Government (“United States Government COVID-19 Vaccines”).

Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccine Guidance

Policy

This memorandum provides guidance on the provision of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines. The Defense Health Agency (DHA) is the lead coordinating DoD Component for executing this guidance, in coordination with the Military Departments and other DoD Components.

DHA-AI 3020-01: Return to the Workplace Staffing Plan in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Environment

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Administrative Instruction (DHA-AI), based on the authority of References (a) through (b) and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (z3), establishes the Defense Health Agency's (DHA) plan to return to full operations and support the whole-of-government response, during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This DHA-AI also provides a preventive plan to monitor and assess for the appearance of new cases and implement those processes that will prevent them from impacting the workforce. The processes describe herein are intended to offer an actionable plan for the workforce to re-enter DHA Administrative Offices. See Appendix 1 for a summary of the DHA Administrative Office Reopening Plan. The plan uses the Force Health Protection Guidance and Health Protection Conditions (HPCON), in accordance with Reference (d), to ensure protection for the workforce, including the most vulnerable-to-serious complications from the virus while enabling DHA Administrative Offices to continue its mission. See Appendix 2 for the conceptual HPCON framework.

  • Identification #: 3020-01
  • Date: 11/3/2020
  • Type: Administrative Instructions
  • Topics: Coronavirus

DHA AI 3020.01: Return to the Workplace Staffing Plan in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Environment

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Administrative Instruction (DHA-AI), establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) plan to return to full operations and support the whole-of-government response, during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and in preparation for regression or resurgence in COVID-19 cases that could impact the workforce.

  • Identification #: DHA AI 3020.01
  • Date: 6/12/2020
  • Type: Administrative Instructions
  • Topics: Coronavirus

Guidance Regarding Zika Dengue and Chikungunya Viruses

Policy

This guidance contains information about the potential for transfusion-transmitted Zika infection; recommends facilitating donor self-deferral of 28 days after travel to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

DoD Directive 6000.12E: Health Service Support

Policy

This directive designates the Secretary of the Army as the DoD Executive Agent for the Armed Services Blood Program Office (ASBPO) (Reference (h)), who exercises this authority through the Surgeon General of the Army, in accordance with DoDD 5101.1 (Reference (d)).

DoD Instruction 6480.04: Armed Services Blood Program Operational Procedures

Policy

This instruction assign responsibilities, and prescribe procedures to carry out the responsibilities of the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) during peacetime, contingency, and wartime operations.

Showing results 1 - 13 Page 1 of 1

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.