After a movie and TV actor donated convalescent plasma, Vitalant is seeking to cast locals who have recovered from COVID-19 in supporting roles to fight the pandemic.
Actor Daniel Dae Kim of “Lost” and “Hawaii Five-O” starred in a real role, making a convalescent plasma donation featured May 1 on “The Call to Unite”—a 24-hour livestreamed event that celebrates our shared humanity during the coronavirus pandemic.
After fully recovering from COVID-19, Kim flew from his home in Hawaii to give his vital plasma donation at a Vitalant blood donation center in Ventura, California. Convalescent plasma contains antibodies that are active against the disease to give patients’ immune systems the ability to attack the virus.
“I learned about the Mayo Clinic being named the national program for this effort and I wanted to do my part to help those who are still battling the illness,” Kim said. “I hope those who can will consider joining me to help other Americans in need—either through the Mayo Clinic, Red Cross or their local blood donation center, like Vitalant.”
Kim plays a doctor in the TV shows “The Good Doctor” and “New Amsterdam.”
In early April, Vitalant, the nation’s largest, independent nonprofit blood service provider, launched a program in collaboration with hospital partners the Mayo Clinic and the American Red Cross to treat COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma. The Food and Drug Administration 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 treatment option.
Vitalant is seeking convalescent plasma donors to help patients. Eligibility criteria: prior diagnosis of COVID-19, documented by a laboratory test or a positive serological test for the SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, taken after recovery; complete resolution of symptoms for at least 14 days; meet all other current FDA donor eligibility requirements to donate plasma.
Even with these requirements, there may be additional tests or other criteria required. In some instances, those who have recovered from COVID-19 may be able to donate, even if they did not have an initial laboratory test. Those who meet the above criteria and want to donate plasma are encouraged to apply through the Vitalant website vitalant.org/covidfree. For more information, call 866-CV-PLSMA (866-287-5762).
Vitalant will only accept donors who meet all FDA-required donor eligibility criteria and are symptom free for at least 14 days. Donors cannot walk in for this procedure; they must complete the form at vitalant.org/covidfree to begin the application process.