Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who is being treated for the novel coronavirus disease at home, pledged to donate plasma once he recovers.
While counting his blessings for having only a mild infection that should not require plasma therapy for treatment, he pledged to make the donation, given its efficacy in treating COVID-19.The Congress spokesperson, who had tested positive for COVID-19 last week, took to Twitter on June 29 and recounted how Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain survived a severe COVID-19 infection because of plasma therapy.
By God’s grace, I don’t need #plasma 4covid. But foolish to put artificial restrictions of #plasmatherapy, most efficacious remedy avilable. #HealthMin Delhi owes his life to plasma. I have already suo motu pledged my plasma, post recovery, if medically suitable.
— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) June 29, 2020
The news comes on a day the Maharashtra government launched project PLATINA – the world's largest plasma therapy trial-cum-project, and the Delhi government promised to set up a plasma bank to help severe COVID-19 patients recover.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Meanwhile, Haryana has also decided to start convalescent plasma therapy to treat COVID-19 patients in all its medical colleges.
Notably, convalescent plasma therapy has proved highly effective in treating serious novel coronavirus cases, and has previously shown results in treating SARS and MERS diseases too.Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here