Companion legislation to Senators Klobuchar and Wicker bill introduced by Representatives Scott Peters (D-CA) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH)
The Plasma Donation Awareness Act will help increase awareness about the importance of donating plasma during the coronavirus pandemic
Those who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection may have antibodies to the disease in their blood, which could help others recover from the virus
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) legislation with Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) that will help raise awareness about the importance of donating plasma during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Scott Peters (D-CA) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH). 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 will help raise awareness about the importance of donating plasma as we work toward finding a vaccine and developing treatments.”
“San Diegans ask what they can do during this time of crisis. For those who have recovered from coronavirus, a plasma donation can directly save lives and contributes to the science at work to develop treatments,” said Rep. Peters. “This legislation will ensure the public is aware of the demand for convalescent plasma. I thank Rep. Wenstrup for joining me in leading this bipartisan effort in the House.”
“Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 can help saves the lives of those who are currently battling the virus. Our scientists and doctors are making great strides using antibodies in therapeutics and other treatments, however, they need a substantial supply of convalescent plasma to continue their important work,” said Rep. Wenstrup. “It’s crucial that we raise awareness on how the simple act of donating your plasma can help us save lives, beat the virus, and return to normal. I’m grateful to Congressman Peters for joining me in this important effort and urge my colleagues to join us in getting the word out.”
Klobuchar and Wicker introduced the Plasma Donation Awareness Act in the Senate earlier this month.
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.