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 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)