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COVID Treatment Offers Instant Immunity, and It's Already Available

08-06-2020
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Healthcare workers gather information before conducting an antigen test, Aug. 5, 2020, at a COVID-19 testing site in Miami Gardens, FL. Antigen testing reveals whether a person is currently infected with COVID-19. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Healthcare workers gather information before conducting an antigen test, Aug. 5, 2020, at a COVID-19 testing site in Miami Gardens, FL. Antigen testing reveals whether a person is currently infected with COVID-19. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Nationwide, new cases of COVID-19 are declining, dropping 14 percent in the last two weeks. But on the local level, cases are still rising in at least 10 states. 

Meanwhile, there's some good news on the medical front. 

By now you've probably heard a coronavirus vaccine may be here by Christmas. What you may not know is one treatment offering instant immunity is available now, and another like it could be available within weeks, much sooner than a vaccine will be ready.

National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins says they both show promise. 

"One of the things I'm pretty excited about is the opportunity to use convalescent plasma, that is plasma that is donated by people who have survived. So if people who are listening who have survived, I hope that they would look into going to their Red Cross or blood bank and donating a unit of blood because that might save somebody else," Collins said.

"And we can go even further than that and actually purify the antibodies of people who've survived, called monoclonal antibodies. Those are about to get tested within the next few weeks to see whether they also provide lifesaving benefits," he said. Those synthetic monoclonal antibodies could be available next month.

The US government has awarded the drug company Regeneron a $450 million contract to begin production of an antibody treatment. Other drug companies are also working on similar treatments.

"When a virus infects our bodies, our immune system creates these antibodies," CBN News Medical Reporter Lorie Johnson explains. "So people with healthy immune systems who have already recovered from COVID-19 still have these wonderful antibodies in their blood, and they're being asked to donate that blood. So please go to coronavirus.gov and see how you can donate a unit of blood because that blood is full of those wonderful antibodies and can be transfused into people who are very, very sick with COVID-19." 

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