The global pandemic has brought renewed attention on the importance of public health.
Plasma collection has long been an essential part of keeping people living with rare or serious diseases healthy. The therapies derived from the blood component are used to treat many conditions, including hemophilia and primary immunodeficiency conditions.
COVID-19-related lockdowns in the U.S. and across the globe have posed significant challenges to plasma collection, said Dr. Toby Simon, Senior Medical Director for CSL Plasma, which runs more than 275 plasma collection centers worldwide. The company is putting out the call for plasma donors in order to sure lifesaving therapies that depend on plasma continue to be available.
As International Plasma Awareness Week arrives, CSL Plasma is offering free flu shot vouchers and COVID-19 antibody screening tests to encourage plasma donations while contributing to public health. For the flu vaccine program, CSL Plasma has partnered with Walgreens to offer free vouchers for inoculations.
“A big part of our focus is to keep donors and employees healthy and safe,” Simon said. “The flu vaccine is an important part of that.”
CSL Plasma is also offering screening tests for COVID-19 antibodies. According to the Centers for Disease Control, a positive antibody test is presumed to mean a person has been previously infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It doesn’t mean that person is currently infected. Those with antibodies can donate their plasma to an effort by the CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance, which includes CSL Behring, to create a plasma-derived hyperimmune medicine to treat COVID-19.
“Those who have been infected with the coronavirus but were asymptomatic would like to know it,” said Simon. “At the same time, we can identify some of our donors who might be able to bolster our donations for this important effort to create a treatment for COVID-19.”
For more information on how to donate and receive the flu shot and COVID-19 antibody screening programs head to CSLPlasma.com.