The Plasma Donation Awareness Act will help spread awareness about the importance of donating plasma during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
Those who have recovered from a coronavirus infection have antibodies to the disease in their blood, which may help others fight the virus
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced legislation that will help raise awareness about the importance of donating plasma during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Expanded Access Program for convalescent plasma, an investigational treatment for COVID-19, involves giving patients with a coronavirus infection an infusion of antibody-rich plasma from someone who has recovered from the virus.
The Plasma Donation Awareness Act will require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct a public awareness campaign about the importance of plasma donation during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The coronavirus pandemic is a national public health crisis, and it’s critical we work together to fight the virus,” Klobuchar said. “This legislation would help raise awareness about the importance of donating plasma as we work toward finding a vaccine and developing treatments.”
“Ensuring that Americans continue to donate blood and plasma is an important part of our nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic,” Wicker said. “I am glad to join Senator Klobuchar to bring attention to this important issue."
In May, Klobuchar (D-MN) and Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Joe Cunningham (D-SC) sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, urging the Administration to raise public awareness of the importance and benefits of plasma donation in the effort to address the coronavirus pandemic.
In a video released in May, all members of the Minnesota delegation called on citizens who have fully recovered from a coronavirus infection to donate plasma and help fight the virus.
The convalescent plasma therapy program involves giving patients with coronavirus an infusion of antibody-rich plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19. People who have recovered from COVID-19 -- such Senator Klobuchar’s husband, John Bessler -- have antibodies to the disease in their blood, which may help fight the virus. In April, Bessler was one of the first patients who had recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma as part of Mayo’s program in Minnesota. Thousands of additional patients have now participated nationwide.