AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Coffee Memorial Blood Center announced that the “state’s first unit of new and improved COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) is ready for transfusion,” with the plasma being used for outpatient treatment to prevent the progression of COVID infection.

Coffee Memorial explained that gaining CCP treatment now is important as some monoclonal drugs have been unapproved by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA has approved CCP as a specialized type of transfusion for patient with a weekend immune system, to prevent a decline in their condition.

The FDA has removed two monoclonal antibody therapies produced by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly from the list of acceptable COVID treatments, explaining that the treatment is ineffective against the Omicron variant and therefore approving a CCP treatment that has better coverage against COVID variants, Coffee Memorial stated.

A recent study of more than 1,200 cases found that clinic patients who received CCP were hospitalized approximately half as often when compared to the control group who did not receive the treatment. According to Coffee Memorial, this is the best data available in studying the outpatient benefits of “borrowing” the immune strength of a recovered patient to help boost the defense of a newly infected one.

“By preventing hospitalizations, CCP can make possible a significant lightening of the care burden on overwhelmed nurses, doctors and other hospital staff. It can also alleviate stress on patients and families as thousands of Texans continue to fear the worst outcomes that the virus can cause,” said Dr. John Armitage, Coffee Memorial Blood Center president and CEO.

“Blood donation now has a wonderful added benefit of empowering our fight the pandemic virus. It`s really a bonus miracle to add to the traditional lifesaving effects of giving blood. If you have recently recovered from COVID-19, please consider donating CCP,” Armitage concluded.

Coffee Memorial stated that donors, with proof of symptomatic COVID-19 within the last six months and more than 10 days out of full recovery, are needed. COVID-19 vaccination status is not a factor in selecting CCP donors, as Coffee Memorial has extended the antibody testing service through Feb. 6 to find more people available to give CCP. The test is free to donors.

According to Coffee Memorial, blood donors are greatly needed due to the high rate of appointment cancellations.

An appointment to donate can be made online at yourbloodinstitute.org or by calling (806) 331-8833. For more information on Coffee Memorial Blood Center, visit thegiftoflife.org.