South Africa: SANBS Seeking Plasma Donations for Vaccine Trial

South African residents who have recovered from the coronavirus (COVID-19) and have been free from any symptoms for 28 days are allowed to donate in another form.

That’s according to the South African National Blood Service (SANBS), who are urging citizens to continue giving blood at nationwide donor centres that are suffering a decline in stocks.

SANBS communications officer, Khensani Mahlangu, explained: “The cold temperatures and mass hospitalisation of people due to the outbreak could see the number of eligible donors decrease significantly, putting the lives of many at risk.”

In addition to regular blood donations, SANBS is asking recovered COVID-19 patients to donate convalescent plasma – a type of plasma that contains neutralising antibodies which shield its host from future virus infections.

In a vaccine trial currently being carried out by SANBS, the plasma will be injected into infected patients, so that the antibodies can combat COVID-19 in their new hosts’ bodies.

Additional criteria includes being between the age of 18 and 65; weighing more than 55kg; and having had a previous positive diagnosis for COVID-19 by a laboratory test.