Blood Donation, Testing, and Research: COVID-19 Myths vs. Facts



blood drive with nurse and service member


Update: There's new information available on how TRICARE covers COVID-19 tests. Visit Coronavirus Testing Coverage to learn more.

How can you help the Military Health System meet the health care demands of COVID-19? By staying informed and helping to spread facts, not myths. Do so by using TRICARE resources, reading FAQs, and getting familiar with these “myths vs. facts.”


MYTH: I shouldn’t risk donating blood during the COVID-19 response.

FACT: The need for blood donations continues. The Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) cancelled some blood drives on military installations. But opportunities to donate still exist. And extra safety and screening protocols will keep you safe. To find a location near you to give blood, visit the ASBP donor page

MYTH: A negative COVID-19 test means I’m not infected with the virus.  

FACT: If you test negative for COVID-19, it means you likely weren’t infected at the time of your nasal swab specimen collection. However, a negative result won’t show if you’re early in the infection process. You could also have an incomplete nasal sampling. You could be exposed after the test, and a negative test could give you a false sense of security. So keep social distancing, hand washing, wearing a cloth face covering, and following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance. If you have questions, contact your health care provider.

MYTH: If you recovered from COVID-19, you can’t donate plasma or join a study to help develop a vaccine.

FACT: The Defense Health Agency Research and Development team contributes to Department of Defense (DoD) COVID-19 research efforts to find a treatment, cure, or vaccine for the virus. There are opportunities for individuals to participate in research studies through the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the Uniformed Services University Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program study. Also, all DoD military hospitals and clinics can participate in the Mayo Clinic Convalescent Plasma Expanded Access Program

Consider sharing Myth vs. Fact infographics and spread the truth, not the virus. And for more myths vs. facts, check out ones on pharmacy options, military hospitals and clinics, cyber awareness, and face masks and stress. Stay safe and learn more about COVID-19

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At the time of posting, this information is current. Visit or TRICARE COVID Guidance for the most current COVID-19 information.

Last Updated 10/14/2021