Vitalant, Chicago police and fire stress need for COVID-19 plasma donors

Chicago police, firefighters will donate plasma, talk about experience with COVID-19
CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Medical Society and Vitalant are working together to recruit COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors.

U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., and Chicago police and firefighters are expected to speak about the need at noon Sunday at Vitalant's location at 1523 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago.

Those police and firefighters will also donate plasma and discuss their experiences with the virus.

Vitalant has already processed dozens of donors, but continues to look for volunteers. Those who have recovered from COVID-19 are encouraged to learn more and sign up at covid19CHI.org.

Earlier this week, Vitalant issued an urgent plea for whole blood donations to ensure a stable blood supply. Some blood products are less than half the four-day supply usually kept on hand. Prospective donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment at vitalant.org.

Currently, there are no vaccines or proven treatments for COVID-19 because the virus is so new.

Although trials for a vaccine are underway, it is expected to be many months before one is approved.

The Food and Drug Administration has identified and approved convalescent plasma treatment as an "emergency investigational new drug." It is currently the only antibody treatment available to COVID-19 patients and, as such, is a promising new tool. This form of investigational treatment may give the body more fight against COVID-19 by using antibodies that are active against the disease, Vitalant said.

Learn more about COVID-19 convalescent plasma and how to register to give at vitalant.org/COVIDFREE.
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