PHOENIX - With a recent announcement by President Donald Trump on the authorization of plasma treatment for COVID-19, plasma centers are focusing on the Valley for doners.
At Grifols Biomat in West Phoenix, a recruitment push is on for plasma from those who recovered from COVID-19, as it contains antibodies many believe can help fight the disease. Maricopa County has tens of thousands of potential donors.
"Because of high rates of infection that were happening in the Phoenix area a month or so ago," said Vlasta Hakes with Grifols Biomat. "Now we know they’ve recovered, and we're trying to recruit them to donate plasma."
Hakes says while it physically feels like a blood donation, plasma donation will take longer due to initial screening. People can donate twice a week, and they will compensate recovered COVID-19 patients for their time, $100 per donation.
"The $100 is for the recovered COVID-19 patient because it’s a little more effort on their part to come in," said Hakes.
Grifols has four plasma centers in the Valley. Hakes says they observe strict safety guidelines, and they now see five to 10 donors a day for the convalescent plasma program. They hope to see more.
"We've already had -- thanks to the generosity of donors across the country, including here in Phoenix -- we already have enough to start manufacturing and ready to clinical trial," said Hakes.