Mayo Clinic was awarded a $26 million contract today from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The financial support is for the Expanded Access Program (EAP) for convalescent plasma to fight COVID-19. Announced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on April 3, the national program, which is led by Mayo Clinic researcher Michael Joyner, M.D., coordinates a national online physician/patient registry (uscovidplasma.org) that speeds access and increases the availability of experimental convalescent plasma for hospitalized patients in need.
The concept of herd immunity, or community immunity, has sparked debate about whether it would control the spread of COIVD-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), herd immunity is a situation in which sufficient proportions of a population are immune to an infectious disease to make its spread from person to person unlikely.
Because cancer treatments can weaken the immune system, cancer patients are at increased risk of complications from COVID-19. Despite these concerns, cancer patients often still need treatment, including going to the clinic or to the hospital, and many have questions about whether cancer should be treated differently during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The facility, at 600 Hennepin Ave. in Minneapolis, had been closed since March 25 in accordance with federal and state orders and guidance for the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now open regular business hours on weekdays.
The Mayo Clinic Radio program shares the latest information on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. On the Mayo Clinic Radio podcast, Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group, shares the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic. Also on the program, Dr. Donald Hensrud, director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, discusses the "Quarantine 15" - how to avoid weight gain, eat healthy, and stay active during stay at home orders.