WASHINGTON- Big news in the fight against COVID-19: The Food and Drug Administration Sunday gave the green light on emergency use authorization.
Already, more than 100,000 people have signed up for it, and more than 70,000 people have gotten the treatment.
The FDA just issued emergency use authorization for a new treatment for COVID-19.
“A treatment known as convalescent plasma,” said President Trump.
So what is it? Convalescent means anyone recovering from a disease.
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn explains plasma.
“Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood. That liquid portion contains the natural immunity that someone develops in response to an infection, in this case COVID-19,” said Hahn.
Here’s how the treatment works: A needle will draw the donor’s blood and it’ll be pumped into a machine which separates plasma from the blood.
Then, the donor’s blood gets pumped back into their body and the plasma can be used on a patient who has COVID-19.
“If the data continue to pan out, 100 people who are sick with COVID-19, 35 would have been saved because of the administration of plasma,” Hahn said.
To be clear, though, this is *not* a cure.
“This is not the same as approval but it is an authorization. It allows us to expand the access to this,” Hahn said.
Dr. Janet Woodcock who’s also with the FDA says the donor pool is limited, so as the pandemic goes away, you will have fewer people who can donate, making it hard to standardize.
Hence, the call on the FDA’s website to “dramatically increase donations of convalescent plasma by the end of August.”
It’s important to note: There’s still a lot of data to collect on convalescent plasma treatment, including putting it through randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials.