Convalescent plasma being tested as COVID-19 preventive

A study at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore is underway to determine if convalescent plasma can protect someone exposed to COVID-19 from becoming infected, similar to how a rabies or tetanus shot works, NPR reported. 

Convalescent plasma, made from blood donated by people who've recovered from COVID-19, has been studied as a treatment to help those already infected with COVID-19 recover, but now scientists are looking to see if injecting someone with it before they become infected can prevent infection. 

Researchers at Johns Hopkins said they hope to enroll up to 500 patients. They have sites in Baltimore, Houston, Alabama and Southern California and are planning to open sites in Dallas and Arizona. 

Drugmakers are also looking to manufacture the antibodies found in convalescent plasma instead of having to rely on collecting blood from recovered COVID-19 patients, NPR reported. 

"What I like about the convalescent plasma idea is that if it worked, I see it as something that could really be scalable in resource-limited settings," Jessica Justman, MD, an associate professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, told NPR

Researchers are hoping to know by mid-September whether convalescent plasma is effective in preventing COVID-19 infection. 

Read the full article here.


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