Issue of September 20, 2020
     
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Plasma donation helps aid dev’t of vaccine for COVID-19
by Press release

Members of a religious organization donated plasma to help in the development of vaccine against the Covid-19.

The donation is in response to the invitation of health authorities in South Korea for members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus to donate additional plasma for the development of vaccine.

A total of 1,223 members of the organization responded to the call. In July,  409 of the 897 units of collected blood plasma were so far donated.

Early this year, most of the confirmed cases from the City of Daegu, South Korea came from Shincheonji Church. Out of the 5,000 members who were infected, most have recovered from the Covid-19 while 11 died.

Facing the need for the “facilitation of developing a cure through plasma donation and clinical trial,” the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), asked for another round of a large-scale donation from the recovered church members in August.

The KCDC expressed appreciation to Shincheonji Church and Chair Lee Man Hee for their “participation in the collection of plasma (to help in the development of vaccine) and for national health safety under the global crisis caused by the Covid-19.”

“We express our gratitude to the city for providing a location for the group donations, as well as to the members of the Shincheonji,” said KCDC Deputy Director Kwon Jun-wook.

The National Institute of Health under the Ministry of Health and Welfare in cooperation with Green Cross Pharma, a biotechnology company in South Korea, is conducting research and development of the convalescent plasma treatment for the Covid-19.

Among the challenges encountered in researching the effectiveness and the development of convalescent plasma treatment is the limited supply from donors who recovered from the infection.

“We need to do this (plasma donation) as citizens of this country and as true believers. It is keeping the command of Jesus of loving your neighbor as yourself,” Lee said.


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