One hundred and eighty-eight people turned out to donate Wednesday during KSBY’s 16th annual KSBY Be A Hero blood drive in partnership with Vitalant.
Due to COVID-19, KSBY was not able to host the blood drive at the TV station but locals stepped up all day to donate blood, plasma or platelets at Vitalant in San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria.
Surfside Donuts provided treats for people who donated in the morning and Taqueria 805 served up free lunch and dinner for those who came later in the day.
Donors also received certificates for a free pint of ice cream at Doc Bernstein's and a free T-shirt.
Donors who carry the antibodies have the chance to potentially make a difference during the pandemic.
Every one of those donations equals five doses of convalescent plasma for patients battling serious COVID-19 infections.
This week, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization allowing the transfusion of convalescent plasma as an investigational treatment.
While clinical trials are ongoing, it's believed the antibodies can help jump-start the immune response in someone who is fighting the virus.
If you are positive for COVID-19 antibodies, you must meet additional FDA eligibility criteria before you can donate convalescent plasma.
Visit Vitalant's website to see if you qualify and register to donate in any way.
Blood and other donations are always needed.