Update - May 27: We have an update to the story below that we brought you in February. At that time, a representative of the American Red Cross said the organization’s policy was to discourage convalescent plasma donations from donors who previously had COVID-19 and were then vaccinated because of a then-belief about antibodies. While the Red Cross discontinued dedicated COVID-19 convalescent plasma donations on March 26 due to declining hospital demand and sufficient industry supply, a Red Cross representative now tells us that based on FDA guidance, individuals who had COVID-19 and were vaccinated could donate convalescent plasma.
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Last week’s snow storm resulted in the cancellation of about two thousand donor appointments statewide, the American Red Cross says.
Officials with the American Red Cross are encouraging people who have recovered from COVID-19, but have not yet received a vaccine, to donate convalescent plasma.
The supply of convalescent plasma, used to help treat COVID-19 hospital patients, is in question, after health officials said anyone who receives the COVID-19 vaccine cannot donate convalescent plasma.
Officials say the vaccine depletes antibodies created by a person's body that has successfully recovered from COVID-19. As a result, their plasma is no longer useful to someone critically ill with the virus. Convalescent plasma therapy was authorized by the FDA to be used by people suffering from COVID-19.
Officials with the American Red Cross are encouraging people to donate whole blood, regardless of whether they've had a vaccine, as the need for blood remains high.
If you have recovered from coronavirus, have not received the vaccine, but don't want to sit through the lengthy plasma donation process, you're encouraged to donate whole blood instead.
"We're able to pull the plasma from that whole blood donation if need be," said Joe Zydlo with the American Red Cross. "We test all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies. That'll then go directly to one of the hospitals locally to a patient."
To make an appointment, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit RedCrossBlood.org.