There is great enthusiasm among ex-patients to donate. Throughout the Netherlands, four thousand new donors have registered with Sanquin, bringing the counter to twelve thousand. A considerable number, but not enough according to the organization.
Race against the clock
Finding and recruiting new plasma donors from ex-patients is a high priority, but at the same time it is a race against time for Sanquin. It is now clear that the antibodies against corona disappear from the blood after a few months.
We are on the right track, but we are not there yet
“We are on the right track, but we are not there yet. We want to collect as much Plasma with antibodies as possible in a short period of time to prepare ourselves for a possible new corona wave in the Netherlands,” explains Merlijn van Hasselt. . He is a spokesperson for Sanquin. “In the coming period it will be very necessary for people who have had corona, and who are not yet a donor, to report to us.”
“Fortunately, we see here at the blood bank in Zwolle that the willingness to come is great”, says Van Hasselt. “Infected healthcare workers from Isala Hospital, who have seen and experienced firsthand what the disease does to people, volunteer to give plasma.”
They do this from their calling. “They are well aware of what donating plasma with antibodies to Covid-19 can mean for others. We also see many employees of regional nursing and care homes who have become infected themselves.”
In addition, people from areas that have been hit hard by the virus also report. For example from Zwartewaterland, a municipality where
Covid-19 struck mercilessly hard a few months ago, causing many casualties. “These people also come to us. They have seen up close what the virus has done to themselves and their loved ones. It may therefore make them easier and faster to come and help by donating plasma.”
Why is the need for even more new donors among ex-corona patients so great?
“Sanquin has been commissioned by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport to collect more than thirty thousand kilos of blood plasma,” says Van Hasselt. We expect that this will require at least sixteen thousand donors in the Netherlands who have been infected with Covid-19. It is extremely important that those donors also have sufficient antibodies in their blood.
Sanquin wants to use the antibodies from the plasma to make a medicine that can help other Covid-19 patients or vulnerable target groups.
The more the better
“In some cases we notice that donors who have had the disease still have relatively few of those antibodies in their blood. That is a pity. There is not enough available to make a medicine from it and unfortunately we also have to say goodbye to those donors. That is why the need for new donors is and will remain great. You could say the more the better. “
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