Plasma collection companies are paying more for plasma than those who have recovered from COVID-19 – too much – and a university is threatening to suspend students who deliberately try to get sick so they Make more money from plasma donation.
Brigham Young University-Idaho, located in an area experiencing one of the largest current outbreaks of COVID-19, issued a warning in response to rumors Monday that some people intentionally exposed themselves or others to the virus is.
Gryphols USA, one of the largest plasma collection centers in the US, operates two donation centers in Rexburg, Idaho. Gryphols is offering $ 100 per donation, so students accustomed to earning $ 55 per week for two donations can now earn $ 200 per week if recovered from COVID-19.
The statement by BYU-Idaho students said that it is intentionally disturbed by accounts of risk.
The school statement said, “The university condemns this behavior and asks for evidence of any kind of conduct among our student union.” “Students who are determined to intentionally expose themselves or others to the virus will be immediately suspended from the university and may be permanently sacked.”
On September 25, BYU-Idaho warned students that it may have to discontinue personal instruction due to an increase of active COVID-19 cases in Madison County. The number of cases has continued to increase. According to a New York Times database, Rexburg has 122.6 daily cases per 100,000 residents, currently the highest in the nation.
Griffoles spokesman Valesta Hex said the BYU-Idaho statement was the first time the company had heard a rumor of intentionally exposing students to the virus.
“We haven’t heard anyone doing that,” he said. “We ask completely that no one gets ill intentionally. This is not something we will support, nor do we know that it is actually something happening. In our centers, we have not heard that anyone is doing this. We have not heard from our donors. “
Griffols is evaluating its fee structure.
“We’re seeing if we want to see students trying to do this at least on a different fee structure, if that’s really true,” Heck said.
Gryphols is collecting plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to harvest antibodies as part of an international effort to develop an anti-coronavirus hyperimmune intravenous immunoglobulin to treat hospitalized patients with the disease. According to a news release by the National Institutes of Health, clinical trials on medicine began on five continents in 18 countries last week.
The drug contains a highly concentrated solution of antiviral remedisivir and antibodies that neutralize plasma-developed SARS-CoV-2 collected by Griffols and other companies.
BYU-Idaho said the epidemic caused real physical, emotional and financial stress for its campus community.
The contraction and spread of COVID-19 is not a mild matter. Careless disregard for health and safety will inevitably lead to additional illness and loss of life in our community. As BYU-Idaho previously warned, if recent trends in Idaho and Madison counties continue, the university may be forced to shift to the distance education model as a whole. We urge all members of the campus community to act respectfully and responsibly by following all public health and university protocols and keeping the well-being of others above personal benefit or convenience. “
The university said it is also ready to help.
The statement said, “There is no need to resort to behaviors that endanger health or safety.”
BYU-Idaho, BYU, BYU-Hawaii and Ensign College announced in May that they had turned down $ 54.1 million in federal aid through the Coronovirus Assistance, Relief and Economic Security Act. All schools owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have instead used private funds to help students with financial issues related to the epidemic.
Hex said that plasma donations have fallen during the epidemic because donors should be healthy and because of concerns about the outbreak. Two of Rexburg’s Griffols locations, such as those around the country, are required to cover the face, moved to donate to distant stations to observe appropriate physical distances, monitoring donors’ temperature upon arrival Do, install plexiglass to separate individual donors and increase cleanliness.
Plasma contains therapeutic proteins and antibodies but, because it is mostly water, the body quickly regenerates it. A donor can give plasma twice a week with a full day between donations.