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VERIFY: Here's what donating plasma does to your antibody levels

An infectious disease doctor explains why it's safe to give plasma after a COVID-19 diagnosis

ST. LOUIS — Bob Muenz saw a silver lining when he recovered from COVID-19: the antibodies in his blood could help other people fight the coronavirus.

He donated plasma and got a call a few weeks later. The blood bank wanted him to donate again, because his antibody count was very high.

But he had a question: would donating again reduce the number of antibodies in his blood, and would that have an effect on his ability to fight off SARS-CoV-2 if he was exposed again?

The Verify Team at 5 On Your Side spoke to a local doctor to find out.

Dr. Alex Lacasse at SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital is an infectious disease doctor who has been treating COVID-19 patients for the last six months. He also just completed a study on plasma with the Mayo Clinic.

"The antibody level is never reduced. It stays in your system in what we call memory cells. So if, for example, you were exposed to COVID-19, the response would be, boom, instantaneous because we have those memories," said Dr. Lacasse.

So we can verify: Donating plasma more than once will not reduce the antibody levels that protect against COVID-19.

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