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Have you had shingles or chickenpox recently?

Shingles on arm

Your plasma could help make a lifesaving treatment for New Zealanders.


The New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) is calling for adults aged between 16 and 71 years-old, who've recently recovered from chickenpox or shingles to make a blood or plasma donation. Their plasma has special antibodies that could be used to make a lifesaving treatment called Zoster Immunoglobin.

While chickenpox can be mild for some, it has the potential to be life-threatening for others. This includes children with cancer and pregnant women.

If you've recently had shingles or chickenpox, you may be eligible if:

  • you're aged between 16 and 71 for new plasma donors (or up to 81 for current plasma donors)
  • you weigh at least 50 kgs and are at least 150 cm tall
  • you're feeling well
  • it's been 4 weeks since the start of your illness
  • your rash is dry and clean.

If you'd like to donate, contact NZBS to find out more and take a basic eligibility quiz on the NZ Blood Service website.

Those who have had the shingles/chickenpox vaccine or been in contact with someone who's had shingles or chickenpox within the last 6 months may also be able to help.

(Image credit: Asvmdrn, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)

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