FDA authorizes convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19

Medical Center offering low cost test for antibodies and COVID-19 in White Plains A medical worker in New York checks blood for coronavirus antibodies. | Photo by Pablo Monsalve / VIEWpress via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors as a treatment for sick patients. The announcement came after President Donald Trump publicly pressured the agency to speed the development of drugs and vaccines.

Plasma should not be the new standard of care for COVID-19, the agency said in a statement. However, it may shorten or reduce the severity of the illness in hospitalized patients. “We’re encouraged by the early promising data that we’ve seen about convalescent plasma,” said commissioner Stephen Hahn in the statement.

Preliminary research suggests that the plasma, which contains antibodies against the coronavirus, could help improve the survival rate of people hospitalized…

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