Costa Rica is planning to use blood from patients who recovered from Covid-19 to produce a treatment for others. Many organizations came together to work on this. It is still a long way from being used but it’s a start.
A rigorous review will have to happen as will tests on patients in other countries before it is approved for widespread use. It also requires a lot more blood from recovered patients. The estimation is that enough people will have recovered in about a month to donate the blood needed.
First, the blood is separated into red blood cells, white blood cells, and plasma. Then the plasma must be purified. The vaccine created would inject us with specific parts of plasma that have antibodies against the virus. This is the same way vaccines against rabies and Ebola work.
In Costa Rica, only 4 people have recovered so far. Two were foreigners who left for their countries. One is pregnant and thus unable to donate blood. The other was able to give the first donation of blood. 49 donors are still needed.
To be a donor, one must not only first recover from Covid-19 but also weigh over 50 kilos, be between 18 and 60 years old, be free of sexually transmitted diseases, not have multiple sexual partners, not be pregnant, not have gotten a tattoo within the last year, not have had hepatitis, not have any immune problems, and not be taking certain medications.
Many countries are testing similar ideas to help the crisis.