More than 20 Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen responded to Arizona's critical need for convalescent plasma from COVID-19 recovered patients during a drive at the Papago Park Military Reservation on Friday.
Plasma gathered from COVID-19 patients who have fully recovered and tested positive for antibodies is being used to develop treatments for people at risk of contracting the virus, according to a release from the Arizona National Guard.
"Our guardsmen are choosing to come in on their day off to save lives proactively," said Spc. Codye Rogers, 1-158th "Bushmasters" Infantry Battalion, Arizona National Guard. "This is important because one bag of this plasma can save up to four people in the hospital that are critically ill with COVID-19."
Guard members who volunteer are required to have a negative test over 28 days ago and a positive antibody test. Another drive is slated for Aug. 11.
Since activated in March, the Arizona National Guard has performed more than 3,000 missions directly supporting all 15 counties and 22 tribal nations throughout the state, which includes support to food banks, testing sites, and contact-tracing efforts by county and state public health officials, the release states.
"Our service members have volunteered to meet this important need to help those most critically ill in our community," stated Maj. Gen. Michael T. McGuire, Director of the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs. "These Soldier and Airmen represent the next great generation, Always Ready, Always There."