SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Vitalant, formerly known as Blood Centers of the Pacific, announced Monday that it will begin testing all blood donations for COVID-19 coronavirus antibodies.

The non-profit blood collection organization serves hospital patients throughout the Bay Area and has a critical need for blood donations.
Vitalant will use the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved antibody test on each blood donation with the hope that it can provide local medical officials with more information on the virus.

“While a positive antibody test does not mean that someone is immune to COVID-19, it does mean that they may be eligible to donate
convalescent plasma in the future and help people with the disease,” Vitalant chief of marketing Cliff Numark said. “Convalescent plasma can be given directly to patients currently battling COVID-19 to help boost their ability to fight their illness.”

Donations of all blood types are sorely needed in the Bay Area. In particular, blood types O, A-negative and B-negative are critically needed in Bay Area hospitals.

Potential donors can schedule an appointment at one of Vitalant’s donor centers by going to vitalant.org or calling (877) 258-4825.

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