Almost 100 sign up for Charedi community’s plasma drive to beat corona

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Almost 100 sign up for Charedi community’s plasma drive to beat corona

Top NHS official praises scheme in which plasma is transfused into patients who are struggling to develop their own immune response to coronavirus

Blood plasma donation centre
Blood plasma donation centre

A plasma donation drive for the Charedi community has taken place as the country battles a spike in corona cases.

Run in partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant, the scheme encourages people who have had Covid-19 to donate antibody-rich blood plasma. This is then used in clinical trials to establish if it’s an effective treatment to fight the infection.

This comes as more than 500,000 Brits have received the the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, including Holocaust survivors and charity leaders. The United Kingdom is experiencing a spike in cases and hospital admissions, as a new strain was identified last week that spreads more rapidly.

Organised by Levi Schapiro, founder of the Jewish Community Council, he said the initiative has so far had 90 registrations.

He said the “idea of collaborating the JCC Plasma Drive in partnership with the NHS came to mind as a way of showing appreciation to the health service, and how our community can participate in a project to contribute towards it in a positive way”, he said.

“Ultimately, it’s all about saving people’s lives.”

Signs in English and Yiddish thanking participants in the scheme who donated blood plasma

David Brack, Partnership Lead: Convalescent Plasma Programme for NHSBT thanked him for his efforts, explaining: “The plasma is transfused into patients who are struggling to develop their own immune response. The antibodies could slow or stop the virus spreading, which could save lives.

“The NHSBT team and I are grateful for your support with this critical programme of work. “

The blood drive is being run from the La Royale wedding hall, and begun last week. It is due to continue until early January.

Stamford Hill doctors Michael Wetzler and Joseph Spitzer of The Surgery wrote letters thanking Schapiro for initiating the blood plasma drive, and encouraging people to sign up.

Spitzer said the “NHS Plasma research study on people who have recovered from Covid-19 could provide valuable information to help save lives. I would strongly encourage all those who are eligible to participate to do so.”

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