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Is Plasma Donation After COVID Vaccine possible?
- Author :
- TATA AIG Team
- Published on :
As the world witnesses the deadly COVID-19 infection, many healthcare providers choose to treat the patients with convalescent plasma therapy. The aim is to prevent severe illness and death by injecting antibodies through donated plasma. The treatment of diseases with plasma is not something new, but in this case, there are some valid questions arising among people.
Can I donate plasma after Covid vaccine? Is plasma donation after covid safe?
People who recovered from Coronavirus infection are a bit sceptical about blood donation or plasma donation, and rightly so. They often ask, ‘when can I donate plasma after covid?’ Or ‘whether blood donation after Covid vaccine is safe for the donor and the recipient?’
In this blog, we will discuss and try to answer all these questions.
How Does the Immune System Work?
The blood in your body comprises red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma. Plasma is the component of blood that contains proteins, antibodies and other essential substances. When attacked by a pathogen, the immune system creates specialised blood proteins known as antibodies that fight against the infection. The antibodies help stop the infection from spreading to other parts of your body. It may take around two weeks for the antibodies to develop in case of a new pathogen.
Most people tend to recover from infection after their immune system fights the virus. While others having a weak immune system might develop critical conditions. In this scenario, convalescent plasma therapy helps inject already made antibodies of the recovered individual. It can help stop the progression of the infection and prevent hospitalisation.
How Does Convalescent Plasma Therapy Work?
Plasma is a yellow liquid which makes up 55% of your blood. Convalescent plasma is the plasma of a person who has recovered from a specific infection and is donated to a person who fails to recover from the illness. With the help of plasma tubes, the laboratories separate the plasma from the blood. The process is called centrifugation. The antibodies in the donor’s plasma are used to provide passive immunity to the sick patient. They bind to the virus or pathogen and stop it from spreading.
According to the healthcare providers, convalescent plasma therapy should be administered in the early phases of the illness. There is a lack of scientific evidence that convalescent plasma therapy can work if the infection has progressed to organ damage and extreme inflammation.
Usually, convalescent plasma therapy is used by clinicians to treat people exposed to new viruses. When a new virus outbreaks, a large population doesn’t have the needed antibodies. Healthcare providers have used the therapy in several outbreaks like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV), Spanish influenza A (H1N1), Avian influenza A (H5N1), etc.
Plasma also helps in treating a range of other health conditions such as:
It helps in blood clotting.
It can help treat immunodeficiency disorders.
It may be used in making medicines.
It may be used by surgeons during procedures.
It can treat burns and shocks.
Benefits of Convalescent Plasma Therapy in COVID-19 Treatment
Based on scientific evidence and research, convalescent plasma therapy is effective against COVID-19 infection. The potential benefits of the therapy outweigh the risks. The advantages of convalescent therapy are:
Convalescent plasma therapy is considered safe and involves low risks
It may reduce the length of the infection.
It may reduce the severity of the infection.
It may lower the risk of hospitalisation and death.
Can I Donate Plasma?
You must be a COVID-19 survivor and have a positive test report of the infection.
You should be between the age of 18-55 years and have never been pregnant if you are a female. Whereas, if you are a male, you should be between the age of 18-55 years.
You should have sufficient antibodies in your blood to donate plasma.
You must be eligible to donate blood in general.
When Can I Donate Plasma After Covid Recovery?
For plasma donation after Covid recovery, you should have a prior diagnosed COVID-19 infection and now should be symptom-free. Plasma donation after covid should be made only after 28 days of recovering from the infection. The reason being the antibodies are not fully developed when you still have symptoms.
Can I Donate Plasma After the Covid Vaccine?
You probably wish to donate plasma for the greater good. But can you donate plasma after the covid vaccine?
Here’s the answer.
Plasma donation after a covid vaccine is similar to donating plasma after recovery from the infection. Vaccination aids the immune system in creating antibodies against a specific pathogen. So, a COVID-19 vaccination doesn’t prevent you from donating plasma. But blood donation after covid vaccination is to be done after at least 28 days of the second dose.
The Procedure of Plasma Donation
There are two ways to donate plasma. Under the primary procedure, you donate blood and the laboratory separates plasma. Another method is the process of plasmapheresis in which the plasma tubes extract blood into a centrifuge. The centrifuge helps separate plasma from other components that are returned back to your body. The extracted plasma is frozen and can be used for a year.
Some Essential Things to Remember Before Donating Blood or Plasma
Do not have alcohol before 24 hours of donation.
Do not smoke before you donate.
Avoid heavy meals before the donation.
Do not consume any pain killer before 48 hours of donation.
Now you know what convalescent plasma therapy is and the process of blood donation after a covid vaccine. So, if you have recovered from COVID-19 or received the covid vaccine, ensure you donate plasma to save others’ lives. Convalescent plasma therapy has been used by healthcare practitioners for over a hundred years and it has shown effective results. Reach out to the nearest blood donation camp or contact your healthcare provider if you are eligible to donate plasma.
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