A Ponoka man is hoping his recovery from COVID-19 will help in the search for a vaccine or treatment.
Former town councillor John Jacobs, who contracted the virus during a trip to Europe and has since recovered, recently became one of the thousands of Canadians to participate in a study that may provide more answers on how the human body reacts to the disease.
The study, “Diagnosis of COVID-19 by serology,” is a national clinical trial being conducted by a conglomerate that includes Canadian Blood Services and its Quebec equivalent plus 10 research teams and over 50 hospitals from across Canada.
“I think we all want to help out wherever we can,” Jacobs said in an email when asked why he chose to participate.
He added that he was contacted and asked if he would take part and that the process was simple.
“It was no different than any other time a person donates blood,” said Jacobs.
“I went to the Ponoka hospital to donate blood with one sample sent to Edmonton and the other to Calgary. I will not know any more until sometime in June.”
Jacobs and other recovered patients are being targeted as the study requires specific donors for the trial. This includes those that have had a confirmed positive lab test result for COVID-19, are younger than 67, fully recovered and symptom-free for at least 28 days.
The trial itself is to find out if convalescent plasma can be used in a possible treatment for those infected with the virus.
“Convalescent plasma may help patients recover from COVID-19, but this has not yet been proven. Well-designed clinical trials like this, will help provide the necessary information about whether this is a safe and effective treatment option for patients,” said Dr. Dana Devine, chief scientist with Canadian Blood Services in a release.
“We’re making an important contribution to research on a global scale that could help patients in Canada and around the world.”
It’s expected that more donations will be made up to the end of May with COVID-19 patients participating following a consultation that would include the treating physician, the patient and their family.
All donations will undergo testing and processing before being issued for use in the study.
Anyone that believes they may be eligible to donate are encouraged to sign up at the Canadian Blood Services registry by going to blood.ca/en/convalescentplasma.
Patients with COVID-19 who are looking for more information on convalescent plasma as a treatment option are encouraged to visit CONCOR1.ca.