New antibody screening through blood donation detects COVID vaccine response

COUNTY — As vaccines become more widely available, a community blood center is offering a service to blood donors that will check for the body’s response to COVID-19 in two ways.

The Blood Connection has implemented a new COVID-19 antibody screening that will test each donor’s blood to see if it contains the antibodies from the COVID-19 vaccine and/or antibodies from exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

TBC’s prior antibody screening — which started before vaccines were released — only detected a donor’s natural response to the virus through exposure, whereas the new antibody screening will detect both.

Antibody test results will be posted online in the donor’s portal. Results can take up to seven business days to be posted. Donors who receive any of the FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines can donate blood immediately. These rules apply for the first and/or second shot of the vaccine.

Conversely, donors do not have to be vaccinated in order to donate blood. Donors can give after recovering from COVID-19, as long as they are 14 days symptom-free. Visit the TBC COVID-19 webpage at for more information.

As the community’s blood center, TBC is urging current and new blood donors to give as soon as possible. Local hospitals’ needs are changing on a daily basis, which is why it is important that TBC has a healthy stockpile of all blood types. TBC asks that donors make an appointment at any TBC blood drive or at any TBC center in North Carolina and South Carolina.

For more information, call 1-800-392-6551.