JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – As part of Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect our people, maintain readiness and support the national coronavirus response, the Department of Defense will collect more than 10,000 COVID-19 convalescent plasma units by Sept 30.Collected COVID-19 convalescent plasma will be available for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 in DOD health care facilities which meet established criteria and in accordance with approved protocols. As the official blood program of the U.S. military, the Armed Services Blood Program is working to make this goal happen.COVID-19 convalescent plasma is the liquid part of blood collected from patients who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection. Antibodies present in convalescent plasma are proteins that help patients fight an active infection; in this case, SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19.Though not a clinically proven treatment for COVID-19, there is anecdotal evidence that COVID-19 convalescent plasma may be effective.ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTSAll donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. To qualify for this specific program, you must have evidence of COVID-19 documented by a laboratory test, either by:A diagnostic test (e.g., nasopharyngeal swab) at the time of illness;A positive serological test for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies after recovery, if prior diagnostic testing was not performed at the time COVID-19 was suspected.Donors must have a complete resolution of symptoms at least 14 days before donation. A negative result for COVID-19 by a diagnostic test is not necessary to qualify the donor.For women who have been pregnant, additional testing may be required if human leukocyte antigen (HLA) antibodies were developed since last pregnancy.Potential Joint Base Lewis-McChord donors must first call the Armed Services Blood Bank Center – Pacific Northwest to see if they qualify. If they qualify, an appointment will be set up.To find out if you qualify to donate COVID-19 convalescent plasma or for more information, call Victor Shermer at the Armed Services Blood Bank Center – Pacific Northwest at 253-968-1903.