CAPE TOWN- Many researchers and scientists are examining how convalescent plasma therapy can be used to aid Covid-19 patients in their recovery and the European Union (EU) is looking to fast-track funding to implement the experimental treatment.
The European Commission, the executive branch of the EU, has invited national blood authorities to apply for possible emergency funding to boost their collection of convalescent plasma.
The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) is currently participating in the collection of convalescent plasma for a national trial. Plasma is the liquid component of blood.
While convalescent plasma therapy has not been proven to cure Covid-19, it is likely to boost a patients’ ability to fight it.
This experimental treatment collects blood from those who have recovered from Covid-19 and have the antibodies the body uses to fight off infections.
A convalescent plasma donation is the same as a standard blood donation, the key difference being the need for a specific type of donor, one who has already fully recovered from the disease.
The EU is financing a project to develop a plasma-derived therapy against Covid-19 and has also set up a database to share results of treatments applied in European hospitals.
Funds could be used to buy equipment to collect, store and test convalescent plasma.
Over 300 million euros have been spent and about 2 billion is pencilled in to buy possible vaccines, EU officials told Reuters.
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