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How Effective Is Plasma To Treat COVID-19?

Convalescent serum or blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients is being ...

Photo by Arnulfo Franco AP

Above: Convalescent serum or blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients is being studied as a treatment for others with the disease.

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Plasma is being used to treat coronavirus patients here and across the country, with fresh encouragement from the FDA. But do plasma treatments work?

Aired: September 2, 2020 | Transcript

Doctors across San Diego have used convalescent plasma to treat hundreds of COVID-19 patients.

Demand for the therapy is expected to surge after a controversial move by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA recently announced that convalescent plasma — the liquid part of blood that contains antibodies from donors who have recovered from an illness — can be used as an emergency treatment for COVID-19.

But it's effectiveness against the virus isn't clear. This week, the National Institute of Health said there's no evidence to support the use of plasma for the treatment of COVID-19.

RELATED: Trump Wanted FDA To Fast-Track Blood Plasma Therapy. What Is It?

Reporter Jonathan Wosen, who covers the biotech industry for The San Diego Union-Tribune, has looked into plasma therapy and joined Midday Edition on Tuesday to share his reporting.

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