Second phase of Vanderbilt COVID-19 antibody research begins

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Research to help patients recover from COVID-19 heads into its second phase tomorrow at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The study is called “Pass It On” which stands for, PASSive Immunity Trial ONashville.

On Wednesday, those who’ve survived the novel coronavirus will voluntarily have their plasma collected by Vanderbilt.

“So for our study, blood is being collected by a donor agency called blood assurance,” said Dr. Allison Wheel, principal investigator of the plasma collection arm of the study, “Once the collection is over it will actually go back to Blood Assurance, which is located in Chattanooga; and in Chattanooga, the plasma will be subdivided into smaller units and it will be tested for infectious diseases and frozen.”

Once frozen, the plasma is good for a year and later it will be administered to Vanderbilt patients with COVID-19.

Wheeler and other researchers will then study how sick patients respond to the plasma’s antibodies.

“We’re hoping that those antibodies are going to be able to target the infection in currently sick people and make them well,” sajd Dr. Wheel.

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