South Korea's pharmaceutical industry and health authorities are struggling with insufficient blood plasma derived from people who have recovered from COVID-19, hampering efforts to develop a therapy, reported The Korea Herald.
A total of 12 people who have recovered from the novel coronavirus have promised to offer their plasmas, as of June 3, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The shortage comes as the Korea National Institute of Health and GC Pharma are working to roll out a plasma therapy in the second half of this year.
“If a plasma therapy is developed, we will be able to offer a new option of treatment for coronavirus patients in critical condition," said Choi Won-suk, a professor of the Infectious Disease Division at Korea University Ansan Hospital.
"I hope those who have recovered from COVID-19 actively take part in providing their plasmas," he added.