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U.S. SURGEON GENERAL VICE ADMIRAL JEROME M. ADAMS URGES UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES TO HELP DRIVE DONATIONS OF COVID-19 CONVALESCENT PLASMA

Washington, D.C., Jan. 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As U.S. COVID-19 cases increase, U.S. Surgeon General VADM Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH, issued a letter calling on universities and colleges to activate students and faculty who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP). Nearly 400,0001 students and educators at American colleges and universities have tested positive for COVID-19, meaning they are likely to carry virus-fighting antibodies. 

“The nationwide increase in COVID-19 infections has caused a massive spike in demand for CCP. In fact, more than 350,000 Americans have received this treatment and physicians continue to request CCP for their patients,” said Surgeon General Adams. “That demand is quickly approaching more than 30,000 units per week. Currently we are on par for collecting 30,000 units/week, but with increasing demand, it becomes more challenging to support the need.”

In his letter to university and college leaders, Surgeon General Adams encouraged not only individual donations but also called on campus communities to consider hosting safe, socially-distanced CCP collection events or CCP drives. “Colleges and universities only need to provide the space, volunteers and donors,” he noted. “The blood centers will provide everything else necessary to host a successful CCP drive.”

Current scientific studies show that treating COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma is safe and, when it’s given early and contains a high concentration of antibodies, it can help reduce the risk of death.2 The FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization3 guides the clinical use of CCP in hospitals and larger studies currently being led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will add new learnings.  

“In addition to social distancing, wearing a face covering, and practicing good hygiene—donating CCP is another way that the nation can continue to fight back against COVID-19,” wrote Surgeon General Adams. 

Individuals seeking to donate, and colleges and universities interested in holding a plasma collection drive, should contact their closest licensed blood and plasma donor center, which can be located by visiting TheFightIsInUs.org.

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About The Fight Is In Us and Operation Warp Speed

The Fight Is In Us is a coalition of more than 30 organizations that have come together to create a national donor recruitment campaign. In partnership with Operation Warp Speed, the goal of the campaign is to connect survivors with licensed blood and plasma donor centers. The coalition’s advisory and technology supporters include The MITRE Corporation. To learn more, visit  TheFightIsInUs.org and follow us on Twitter at @thefightisinus.


1 Tracking the Coronavirus at U.S. Colleges and Universities, The New York Times, Updated December 11, 2020 https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/covid-college-cases-tracker.html
2 Joyner MJ et al. Safety Update: COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma in 20,000 Hospitalized Patients. Mayo Clin Proc. September 2020;95(9):1888-1987. https://els-jbs-prod-cdn.jbs.elsevierhealth.com/pb/assets/raw/Health%20Advance/journals/jmcp/jmcp_ft95_6_8.pdf
3 Fact Sheet for Patients and Parents/Caregivers, Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma For Treatment of Covid-19 In Hospitalized Patients, November 30, 2020. https://www.fda.gov/media/141479/download

Attachments


Erin Griffin
The Fight Is In Us
202-316-9707
[email protected]

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