Israel’s Hadassah Medical Center has treated the first Covid-19 patient with a new vaccine developed using plasma harvested from recovered coronavirus patients. It is believed that Hadassah is the first site in the world to test a passive vaccine treatment for the virus.
The patient “reacted positively” to the treatment, according to Hadassah head Zeev Rotstein. He added that she “started to improve hemodynamically” after being seriously ill for weeks with the virus, with underlying health conditions.
The passive vaccine was made with an antibody (immunoglobulin or IgG) concentrate using plasma from patients who previously had the disease and now test negative for the virus.
The treatment was developed by Hadassah Medical Center in conjunction with Israeli biopharmaceutical firm Kamada. 40 litres of the antibody-rich plasma, enough to treat up to 70 patients, was harvested by Hadassah and then processed by Kamada, which develops and manufactures plasma-based drugs.
This passive vaccine differs from active vaccines, whereby a person is injected with a dead or weakened form of a virus to trick the body into producing antibodies.
These antivirus proteins could help patients currently suffering from Covid-19 by potentially stopping the progression of the virus. Plasma has been used in recent months in Israel to treat serious cases of Covid-19 on an experimental basis.