The Blood Donor Center is currently offering our donors one free COVID-19 Antibody screening with their donation!
This screening looks for the presence of antibodies in your blood, which are proteins made in response to infections. Antibodies are detected in people who are tested after an infection; they show the body’s efforts to fight off an infection. Specifically, we are looking for antibodies for COVID-19.
Antibodies usually start developing within one to three weeks after infection. An antibody screening assesses whether your immune system has responded to the infection, not if the virus is currently present. Antibody screening results should not be used to diagnose if you have an active infection.
The COVID-19 antibody screening is authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Donations will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies using a sample taken at the time of your blood or platelet donation. No additional needle stick is needed. Your blood sample will undergo the antibody screening, routine screening, and infectious disease testing.
Antibody results take about two weeks after your donation. Results will be mailed to the address you provided the donor center. If you have not received your results within two weeks, please call (910) 615-LIFE.
While this is not a COVID-19 test, your screening results show if you’ve had COVID-19 and been exposed to the virus, regardless of whether you developed symptoms, by showing if your body produced antibodies to help fight off the virus.
all your primary care doctor or the health department for diagnostic COVID-19 tests, which tell if you have a current infection.
Positive antibody screening result: This does not confirm infection or immunity. It indicates potential prior exposure to the virus; that you have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, at some point in the past. It does not mean you are currently infected.
We don’t have enough information yet to say how protected someone might be from being infected again if they have antibodies to the virus. Evidence of how long antibodies last varies. Confirmed and suspected cases of reinfection with the virus have been reported.
Donors who receive positive results on an antibody screening but don’t have symptoms of COVID-19 and have not been around someone who may have COVID-19, are not likely to have a current infection. They can continue with normal activities, but still practice the 3Ws: Wear a mask, Wash your hands and Wait 6 ft from others.
Donors who receive positive results on an antibody screening and who are currently or recently sick or have been around someone with COVID-19, should follow CDC recommendations on caring for themselves and protecting others. Get care immediately if you are having emergency warning signs, such as trouble breathing, pain or pressure in chest.
Negative antibody screening result: Indicates that you probably have not been exposed to COVID-19 and have not developed antibodies to the virus. It also could indicate that antibodies are present but at levels below the test’s threshold for detection. You can still contract the virus, if exposed. It takes one to three weeks after an infection for antibodies to be present.