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Health experts hope convalescent plasma bridges gap to COVID-19 vaccine

plasma donation vitalant
Dwight Everett of Camarillo donates life-saving plasma

SANTA BARBARA, Calif - COVID-19 cases continue to climb around the country.

Wednesday’s 3,055 deaths were a single-day record. It also marked the third deadliest day in American history behind the Galveston Hurricane (1900) and the Battle of Antietam (1862). The attack at Pearl Harbor (1941) is now the 10th deadliest day.

Health experts are waiting for vaccines to become available. In Santa Barbara, Dr. David Fisk, infectious disease doctor at Cottage Hospital and Sansum Clinic, said he expects 975 doses next week. And then hopes to see more ramp-up in the weeks and months that follow.

One of the possible ways to bridge the gap until widespread vaccinations is the use of convalescent plasma -- plasma taken from a person who previous had COVID-19.

Vitalant’s regional director for California’s Central Coast, Susan Noone, said, “Right now [convalescent plasma] is one of the few treatment options that we have available.” 

Noone encourages anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 to donate their convalescent plasma. Someone is eligible to donate 28 days after their last symptoms.

To learn how to donate visit Vitalant’s website.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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Scott Sheahen

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