LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas Blood Institute officials said Wednesday that the state’s first unit of new and improved COVID-19 convalescent plasma is being shipped for transfusion.

According to officials from the ABI, the plasma can be used for outpatient treatment to prevent the progression of coronavirus infection. The alternative for CCP comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration withdrew approval for some monoclonal drugs as treatment options.

The FDA recently approved newly reformulated CCP and according to ABI officials a recent study found that clinic patients who received CCP were hospitalized approximately half as often compared to the those not receiving the treatment.

Oklahoma Blood Institute president and CEO Dr. John Armitage explained that CCP treatment can lighten the load and alleviate stress that many health officials may feel in hospitals due to the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state.

Armitage also encourages those who have recovered from the coronavirus to consider joining the fight against the virus by donating blood.

“Blood donation now has a wonderful added benefit of empowering our fight the pandemic virus. It’s really a bonus miracle to add to the traditional lifesaving effects of giving blood,” he stated. “If you have recently recovered from COVID-19, please consider donating CCP.”

Officials with the ABI said they are currently seeking donors who have proof of symptomatic COVID-19 within the last six months and are also more than 10 days out from full recovery. ABI officials also said they are extending their antibody testing through Feb. 6 to find more heroes who qualify to give CCP.