New text messages led to more than 10,000 people registering as COVID-19 plasma donors

17 June 2020

New text messages from the national testing programme led to 10,370 people registering as potential COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors over Monday and Tuesday.

5,228 people registered yesterday (Tuesday) alone, the highest daily number since the initial rush when the programme first went live.

The texts were sent to around 65,000 people tested through the Pillar 2 mass public national testing programme.

They received the message on Monday and Tuesday, directing them to a link and a webform where they could volunteer to donate.

Over the last two days, 10,370 people completed the form, bringing the total so far to 82,091. The webform went live in mid-April.

The texts will now be sent on a weekly basis to anyone who tests positive through the national testing programme. People will receive them 21 days after their result.

An NHS Blood and Transplant spokesperson said: “We thank everyone who beat COVID-19 who got a text and is now offering to donate convalescent plasma.

“We particularly want to hear from recovered people who are men, or who are aged over 35, or who needed hospital treatment.

“People falling into one of these three categories are likely to have higher antibody levels which means their plasma is more likely to be able to save lives.”

NHSBT is collecting convalescent plasma for a major coronavirus treatment trial, and if the trial is successful, widespread use in hospitals.

The antibody rich plasma of people who have recovered can be transfused into people who are struggling to develop their own immune response.

Anyone who has had coronavirus or the symptoms and lives near a donor centre can offer to donate by calling 0300 123 23 23 or registering their interest via our online form.