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Coronavirus Update: FDA Issues Emergency Use Authorization for Convalescent Plasma Treatment

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Good morning, it’s Monday, August 24. Here’s your daily coronavirus update.

There are over 23.4 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 809,000 deaths.

According to Johns Hopkins, the U.S. has surpassed 5.7 million cases with over 176,000 deaths.

Per the COVID-19 Tracking Project, there were 38,234 new cases reported Sunday. 611,382 new tests were reported. And 572 deaths were reported yesterday.

The Food and Drug Administration issued an "emergency use authorization" for convalescent plasma as a treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients.

The FDA said that based on the scientific evidence currently available, it has concluded the antibody-rich plasma "may be effective" in treating COVID-19. It also concluded that the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks.

President Donald Trump said Sunday at a White House news conference that, “This is a powerful therapy…[This] action will dramatically expand access to this treatment.”

And then there’s AstraZeneca. According to a report, the Trump administration is weighing going around traditional regulatory standards to "fast-track" a possible coronavirus vaccine being developed by the company and Oxford University.’

The FDA could give an “emergency use authorization” by as early as October to a vaccine the company and the university have been developing.

However, AstraZeneca told TheStreet it "has not discussed emergency use authorization with the U.S. government and it would be premature to speculate on that possibility"

You can follow Katherine Ross on Twitter at @byKatherineRoss.

Read more from Katherine Ross here.

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