If you get the COVID-19 vaccine, can you still donate convalescent plasma?

Doctor says those who get the COVID-19 vaccine cannot donate convalescent plasma but can donate whole blood, platelets

SAN ANTONIO – As the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations continues to rise in Bexar County, there is still a great need for convalescent plasma to treat the disease. The new vaccines are an effective tool against COVID-19, but you will no longer be able to donate convalescent plasma if you get one.

Dr. Samantha Gomez Ngamsuntikul, associate medical director at BioBridge Global, said the vaccines and convalescent plasma don’t exactly mix.

“If you are donating COVID convalescent plasma and you do receive the vaccine, you are not able to donate convalescent plasma,” Ngamsuntikul said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration explains it’s unclear if the quality of the immune response from that plasma is as effective as plasma from people who fought the virus without the vaccine.

However, since the current vaccines available do not include the virus itself, Ngamsuntikul said you will still be eligible to donate blood.

“For the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccine, they are mRNA vaccines, and at this time, there is no wait to donate,” Ngamsuntikul said. “You are still able to donate whole blood and platelets.”

Ngamsuntikul says it’s crucial to donate blood right now.

“To ensure we have enough blood for our local community,” she said.

You can schedule an appointment to donate with the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center by calling 210-731-5590 or by visiting southtexasblood.org.

Click here for more COVID-19 vaccine coverage from KSAT.

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Tiffany Huertas is known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.