County officials in Texas are offering up to $100 to plasma donors in hopes of boosting the potentially life-saving treatment for coronavirus patients.
Only a small fraction of COVID-19 survivors in Bexar County, which encompasses San Antonio, have donated plasma, Precinct 2 Commissioner Justin Rodriguez told KSAT.
“Only hundreds of the 40,000 have actually donated plasma,” he said.
Bexar County will offer between $50 to $100 stipends for plasma donations, made possible by a $150,000 federal grant.
San Antonio, Texas’ second-largest city, marked its 1,000th death from COVID-19 on Sunday and reported 2,372 new cases over the past seven days, Texas Public Radio reported.
That increases the total number of cases in Bexar County to 49,915 and 1,016 total deaths since the pandemic began.
Officials with the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center have also asked the public, particularly those with Type O blood, for donations.
Late last month, the Food and Drug Administration issued emergency authorization for convalescent plasma to treat coronavirus.
More than 70,000 people in the US have undergone antibody-rich plasma treatment. Preliminary data showed there were fewer deaths among 35,000 patients who received the treatment within the first three days of diagnosis.