WASHINGTON, KOMPAS.com - President Donald Trump has authorized convalescent plasma therapy to treat Covid-19 patients in a move he called “a breakthrough”.
The emergency authorization of the therapy was called “promising” by one of his top health officials, but other health experts say more study is required before it is celebrated.
The announcement was made on Sunday after White House officials complained that the Food and Drug Administration was delaying the approval of a vaccine and therapeutics for the Covid-19 virus — a disease that has put Trump’s reelection chances at a disadvantage.
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The US President’s administration believes that politically motivated delays were the reasons behind the FDA’s delays.
On the eve of the Republican National Convention, Trump put himself at the center of the FDA’s announcement of the authorization at a news conference Sunday evening.
The authorization makes it easier for some patients to obtain the treatment but is not the same as full FDA approval.
The blood plasma, taken from patients who have recovered from the coronavirus and rich in antibodies, may provide benefits to those battling the disease.
But the evidence so far has not been conclusive about whether it works, when to administer it and what dose is needed.
In a letter describing the emergency authorization, the chief scientist for the FDA, Denise Hinton, said: “Covid-19 convalescent plasma should not be considered a new standard of care for the treatment of patients with Covid-19. Additional data will be forthcoming from other analyses and ongoing, well-controlled clinical trials in the coming months.”