Blood donors will know more about the status of their immunity to COVID-19 thanks to a new antibody testing method offered by the Arkansas Blood Institute.
The new testing runs from Jan. 3-31 and individual results will give donors a broader understanding of their bodies’ immune response, whether those antibodies come from natural infection or the vaccine and boosters.
Previously, Arkansas Blood Institute’s ability to test for donors’ COVID-19 exposure was limited to a detectable immune response from prior infection. The improved method will also detect if an individual has antibodies from receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Offering this important knowledge to our donors is just one more way we are proud to positively impact public health,” Dr. John Armitage, Arkansas Blood Institute president and CEO, said. “COVID will continue to be a major concern through 2022 and, in fact, over the next several years. We are committed to providing donors valuable information about their health from blood samples we routinely collect, including immune responsiveness to COVID and metabolic function from total cholesterol screenings. We are fortunate to offer these services through our own labs, without the need to outsource testing.”
As understanding of the virus advances, knowing if an individual has detectable immunity to COVID may well be beneficial in future health decisions, including assessing the risk of reinfection or transmission. Being aware of an individual’s immune status could eventually factor into informed decisions around timing booster vaccines, attending large public gatherings, or gathering with friends and family.
Arkansas Blood Institute has performed antibody testing of hundreds of thousands of donors in several previous phases of the pandemic.
Appointments can be made by calling 1-877-340-8777 or visiting arkbi.org. More information on Arkansas Blood Institute can be found at arkbi.org.