COVID-19 convalescent plasma program
Lifeblood has made the decision to stop collecting convalescent plasma donations in Australia.
This decision was made based on the following information:
- Increasing international evidence of no benefit of the treatment for people in hospital with COVID-19
- The limited use of the product in Australia due to the successful control of the pandemic
- The limited number of available donors who continue to meet our antibody requirements, as most donors’ infections were now some time ago (again because of Australia’s great control)
- Safe and effective vaccines have been shown to result in a strong antibody response and if there was a role for passive antibody treatment, it is expected this could be made from vaccinated people.
We want to thank everyone who has been involved in our convalescent plasma program such as South Eastern Area Laboratory Services (SEALS) and the Kirby Institute who stepped up and did our testing at short notice and our trial collaborators including the Australasian COVID-19 Trial (ASCOT) and the Randomised, Embedded, Multi-factorial, Adaptive Platform Trial for Community-Acquired Pneumonia (REMAP-CAP). However, most of all we wish to thank our generous donors.
Please be assured that because our convalescent plasma donations have been processed in the same way as regular plasma donations, they have either been used as part of the convalescent program already, or will be used to help other patients. We encourage all our donors to continue donating plasma into the future and keep current appointments, as plasma truly is a life-giving gift. The only difference in a regular plasma appointment is we will stop taking the extra tubes for the COVID-19 antibody testing.
If a future role for COVID-19 Immunoglobulin emerges, we will be ready to commence collections, hopefully from a large proportion of our donors who are or will be vaccinated against COVID-19.