FARGO — Vitalant is launching a program to treat COVID-19 patients with blood plasma donated by people who have recovered from the disease. Known as “convalescent plasma,” this blood component contains antibodies that may give patients an extra boost to fight the illness.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has identified and approved convalescent plasma treatment as an “emergency investigational new drug.” It is currently the only antibody treatment available to COVID-19 patients and, as such, is a promising new tool.

This form of investigational treatment may give the body more fight against COVID-19 by using antibodies that are active against the disease.

Vitalant is seeking convalescent plasma donors to help patients. Eligibility criteria are:

  • Prior diagnosis of COVID-19, documented by a laboratory test.
  • Complete resolution of symptoms for at least 14 days.
  • Meet all other current FDA donor eligibility requirements to donate plasma.
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Those who meet that criteria and want to donate plasma are encouraged to apply through the Vitalant website at Vitalant.org/covidfree. For more information, call 866-287-5762.