Coronavirus vaccine could affect how you donate plasma

Updated: Jan. 24, 2021 at 5:31 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - While the COVID-19 vaccine may offer hope to communities across the country, it could cause a snag for COVID-19 patients who are receiving plasma treatment.

“If you are a recipient of Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, that pretty much makes you ineligible to donate any future convalescent plasma to any people that are struggling with COVID-19 right now,” said Michael Pena with Blood Share in Baton Rouge.

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Pena says survivors of COVID-19 can donate their plasma and help save a critical life who is suffering from the virus. But now, with many already receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, there could be a shortage of plasma, with survivors not being able to donate.

“When you get the vaccine it wipes out the antibodies that your body has developed when that person had covid-19 before, so it helps you but if you intend to try to help other people by donating your plasma then it negates it,” Pena said.

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In a study back in June, more than 20,000 COVID-19 patients in the us were treated with the plasma, and that number continues to rise. Pena says in order to provide for those who need this plasma, COVID-19 survivors need to donate as much as they can before getting the vaccine.

“Everybody probably knows somebody even family friends are just an acquaintance that had covid-19 or is struggling with covid-19 right now, so if you had COVID before and you feel better and you want to donate before you get the vaccine by all means please do because you really will be helping somebody.”

If you have already received the vaccine, you can still donate regular plasma, but it will not be geared towards COVID-19 relief efforts.

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