New York State Department of Health is reportedly planning to collect plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients and inject the antibody-rich fluid into the patients suffering from the viral infection. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the plan on March 23 saying it will begin on a trial basis on seriously critical patients.
During a press briefing, Governor Cuomo said that the New York State Department of Health has been working on it with some of New York's “best health care agencies”. Cuomo added that the old-age idea, which was also used during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, has shown promise and they will be starting the trial from this week.
"There have been tests that show when a person is injected with the antibodies, that then stimulates and promotes their immune system against that disease," Cuomo said.
New York is the worst-hit state by the novel coronavirus which has reported over 23,000 confirmed cases and 183 deaths till date. The American state is also starting drug trials with the combination of Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, and Zithromax, antibiotic, which has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for compassionate care use last week. US President Donald Trump had also tweeted about the drug combination and said that it could the “biggest game-changers”.
HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine. The FDA has moved mountains - Thank You! Hopefully they will BOTH (H works better with A, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents).....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 21, 2020
However, independent experts have questioned its proven safety and effectiveness through large scale clinical trials and cautioned that testing off label drugs on human patients may have side effects like vision and hearing loss, heart problems, and even death for an unproven benefit. Eugene Gu, a US physician, tweeted claiming there is only anecdotal evidence from case reports in countries overseas and promising those drugs as miracle drugs give false hope.