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OBI relaunches COVID-19 antibody testing across state


In the face of rising cases across the state, Oklahoma Blood Institute is relaunching its COVID-19 antibody testing program. The test will provide donors an additional piece of health information, similar to the existing health screenings typically provided to all donors.

Discovering if an individual had a previously-unknown COVID-19 infection is beneficial in the event of future health concerns.

OBI uses an IgG antibody test created by Abbott, which measures antibodies from natural COVID infection and the antibodies produced as a result. The test will not measure the vaccine response, which is created through a different mechanism.

“Knowledge has always been power, especially as it relates to our health,” said Dr. John Armitage, president and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute. “We’re proud to bring this needed testing back to our donors to provide as more knowledge so they can make better informed decisions about their health.”

Oklahoma Blood Institute performed antibody testing earlier in the pandemic, beginning in July 2020 and extending through May of this year. During that initial testing period, nearly 300,000 tests were completed, with a 16 percent positivity rate.

In addition to the COVID-19 antibody results, blood donors also receive information on blood pressure, cholesterol and Hemoglobin A1c.

The blood supply in Oklahoma – as with the rest of the nation – remains at critical levels, as demand for blood products continues to soar and donors are not yet back at pre-pandemic giving levels. Blood is needed every two seconds and has no substitute.

Donating blood takes about an hour and can save the lives of up to three local patients. Oklahoma Blood Institute supports the inventory for patients in more than 160 hospitals, medical facilities and air ambulances statewide.

16-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds and provide signed parental permission; 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18+ year olds must weigh at least 110 pounds. Photo ID required. While supplies last.

Donors ages 16 or 17-years old need parental consent to be screened for COVID-19 antibodies.

This test has not been FDA cleared or approved. It has been authorized by the FDA under an EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) for use by authorized laboratories. The test has been authorized only for the detection of the antibody IgG antibody against SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens. Test results will be made available post-donation on the donor portal.

Appointments can be made by calling 1-877-340-8777 or visiting obi.org.

More information on Oklahoma Blood Institute can be found at obi.org.


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