Science Behind Convalescent Plasma for Covid-19 Is Clouded by Politics in FDA Authorization

Plasma transfusions, at higher antibody concentrations, appear to offer a survival advantage for some patients—and FDA decision will make access easier

A growing number of hospitals are investigating antibody testing and blood plasma therapy as a way to combat the new coronavirus in sick patients. WSJ’s Daniela Hernandez explains. Photo illustration: Laura Kammermann (Originally published April 10, 2020)

Food and Drug Administration officials pushed back Tuesday against claims that their authorization of convalescent blood plasma treatments for Covid-19 had been politicized, as the partisan brushfire obscures several scientific and public-health ramifications of the agency’s decision.

The FDA on Sunday authorized antibody-rich convalescent plasma, derived from patients who have survived the virus, as a potentially effective therapy against the new coronavirus. The authorization came after President Trump criticized the agency...

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