COVID-19 Update

by Whitney

June 16 2020

Update: CIPO Statement on COVID-19

CIPO has received many inquiries related to COVID-19, most of which are related to patient medical care or provincial re-opening. For specific medical inquiries, please contact your healthcare provider, or treating specialist. 

CIPO COVID-19 Webinars:

CIPO has hosted two webinars about PI & COVID-19 with medical co-Chairs, Dr. Stephen Betschel and Dr. Bruce Ritchie. These “Ask the Experts” sessions can be found here.

COVID-19 in Canada:

Cases of COVID-19 in provinces and across Canada vary by province, with some provinces beginning re-opening phases and other provinces re-opening in certain areas only. Please continue to check your regional public health for area specific information. 

For now, CIPO’s medical advisors recommend:

  • Continuing to stay home, if possible
  • Avoid large gatherings and crowded public spaces, if possible
  • Encourage social distancing and raise awareness of PI – explain to others why you are self-isolating
  • Encourage your family, friends and networks to donate blood and plasma if they can
  • Help minimize workload at the hospital by arriving for your appointments on time
  • Wash your hands and avoid touching your face


If you feel ill, or think you may have the virus:

  • Do NOT go to the hopsital or walk-in clinic (unless instructed to by your doctor OR you cannot manage your symptoms at home)
  • Self-isolate and call your doctor 
  • Use inhalers (if prescribed) and medications to managed symptoms

COVID-19 Vaccine:

There are many companies attempting to produce a viable vaccine to COVID-19. At the moment, they are all still in development. To learn more about PI patients and potential vaccines, listen to our “Ask the Experts 2” podcast  

Plasma Supply:

Currently, there are no plasma or plasma product shortages in Canada. However, some plasma collection companies have notified CIPO of a drop in plasma collections due to COVID-19. We do not know at this point if this will have an impact on plasma products in 10-18 months.


There are many companies attempting to develop an effective antibody test. At the moment, there are no definitive antibody tests available. 

There have been many questions about how long it will take before COVID-19 antibodies enter the plasma products. This is unknown at this point. 

To learn more about antibodies and PI patients, listen to our “Ask the Experts 2” podcast 

Plasma Products:

The PPTA has issued a statement that there is no risk of transmission of COVID-19 into plasma products. 


CIPO will continue to update on this virus as necessary. 

For more information, please see the following:

COVID-19 map –

Canadian Blood Services 


Public Health Agency of Canada

Government of Canada:


CIPO will continue to update on this virus as necessary. 

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