DENVER (CBS4) – Vitalant is the first U.S. blood service provider to share its COVID-19 antibody positive rates from more than 250,000 donors. The company says the data will help support the pandemic response and preparedness efforts.
The overall positive antibody rate was 2.26% in July, up from 1.37% in June. In the Denver area, Vitalant reports 2.72% of antibody tests came back positive for the virus.
Montvale, New Jersey had the highest prevalence in July with 7.65% while Rapid City, South Dakota had the lowest in July at 0.64%.
“We are pleased to share our data to assist ongoing response and preparedness efforts,” said Ralph Vassallo, M.D., chief medical and scientific officer at Vitalant. “We will continue antibody testing all blood donations for the foreseeable future to help identify convalescent plasma donors and meet the emergent need.”
The Food and Drug Administration is encouraging donors with a positive antibody test to register to become convalescent plasma donors. People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 for at least two weeks can donate plasma, which will be used to help other patients.
“Although there are ongoing discussions regarding the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization for convalescent plasma, we believe its risk-benefit profile is favorable, and plasma may be effective in hospitalized patients,” Vassallo continued. “Vitalant supports evidence-based decision-making and will continue to advocate for randomized trials to prove its efficacy and identify appropriate recipients. In the meantime, our focus remains on helping to save lives.”
The plasma contains antibodies to COVID-19 and can only be collected from individuals who are eligible to donate blood.
Blood donors with a COVID-19 positive diagnostic or antibody test result can register to give convalescent plasma by visiting Vitalant.org/COVIDFree or calling 866-CV-PLSMA (866-287-5762). Donations can be made every 28 days or up to every seven days with Vitalant medical director approval.