Six football clubs, including four Premier League teams, have joined forces to back a new side – ‘Plasma FC’ – as part of an NHS Blood and Transplant campaign urging fans who’ve had COVID-19 to register as blood plasma donors.
Plasma from those who’ve had coronavirus contains antibodies that could help others fight the virus and is being collected by NHSBT to support research into new treatments.
Leicester City, Crystal Palace, and Brighton & Hove Albion are among the clubs asking their fans to #BeTheDifference by signing up to Plasma FC online. They are joined by Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, Watford and Northampton Town.
Fans can support Plasma FC by following their local club’s social media channels and sharing the Plasma FC film via #BeTheDifference. To sign up, anyone aged over 17 years who has tested positive for COVID-19 or had symptoms can register online to donate plasma by clicking here.
Plasma FC is particularly appealing for men, black and Asian donors, and those who received hospital care for the virus to join its ranks.
Their plasma is more likely to contain the high levels of antibodies needed to donate.
CEO of Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, Gary Robinson, said: “We’re delighted to get behind this campaign.
"We’ve been working incredibly hard at Blackburn Rovers Community Trust in trying to protect the public from the virus, by operating our Community Hub Testing site.
"We’re proud to be trying to further protect the public by helping in any way we can during this pandemic.”
Elizabeth Hillerby, Marketing Manager from NHS Blood and Transplant, added: “We’re incredibly grateful to the thousands of people who have donated plasma to support research into new treatments for COVID-19.
“We need more people to register as donors to support further studies which could help vulnerable groups, such as older people and those with weak immune systems. The high infection rates mean more people than ever are now able to help.”
Donating is easy - it takes just 45 minutes and the whole appointment, including time for snacks, lasts approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Donations are being taken at NHSBT’s 23 blood donor centres and a further 20 pop-up plasma donor centres. Your body quickly replaces the donated plasma and donated antibodies.
People can register to donate online by clicking here or by searching ‘donate plasma’.