Exploring the Potential of Convalescent Plasma Therapy as an Intervention in the Pandemic Response
Convalescent plasma--used for over a century as the first treatment option in outbreaks caused by novel pathogens. The therapy involves transfusion of blood plasma from recovered donors, which contains antibodies, that can prevent or treat infection in recipients. Convalescent plasa therapy has been observed empirically or in small studies to confer passive immunity to susceptible or already infected recipients. Very little rigorous evidence has been available to confirm safety, effectiveness, appropriate target population and delivery strategies of this therapy for specific pathogens. During the current pandemic, COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma (CCP) has been investigated in numerous clinical trials. Our study will capture lessons learned about CCP delivery through the CONCOR-1 Canadian trial in British Columbia. We will explore immunological, clinical, regulatory, logistical and operational aspects of the process, employing qualitative methods for a comprehensive mapping of the CCP implementation process and mathematical modelling to study the equitable distribution of CCP. Our study will use the opportunity to capture and document the current experience to inform future pandemic planning.