Convalescent plasma clinical trial update
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, convalescent plasma showed potential as a treatment for COVID-19 patients, but there was not enough data to conclude it was an effective therapy. In May 2020, an international research team led by Canadian scientists launched the largest clinical trial on convalescent plasma and COVID-19, called CONCOR-1. Canadian Blood Services was proud to support this Health Canada-approved clinical trial, through collection and testing of COVID-19 convalescent plasma. Although there was good reason to think that convalescent plasma could be used to treat COVID-19 patients, an international team has recently concluded that, unfortunately, convalescent plasma is not an effective therapy for COVID-19. Despite these results, the CONCOR-1 trial has shown how quickly the transfusion community can rally together to support clinical trials — valuable collaborations that can be drawn on to support future work. Read more on our Research, Education and Discovery blog.
Celebrate World Marrow Donor Day on Sept.18
This Saturday, Sept.18 is World Marrow Donor Day — a special day that’s commemorated annually to celebrate all stem cell donors and registrants, and to raise awareness about the importance of stem cell donation. This upcoming World Marrow Donor Day is particularly significant because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has posed a challenge for stem cell transplantation globally. “Our donors stepped up and were available for patients who needed lifesaving transplants [during the pandemic],” says Dr. Heidi Elmoazzen, stem cell director at Canadian Blood Services. You can celebrate World Marrow Donor Day this weekend by tuning into the World Marrow Donor Association’s (WMDA) 24-hour livestream on YouTube, which will feature videos from WMDA member registries and cord blood banks, including Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Registry. In case you missed it, we’ve also been sharing inspiring stories from stem cell donors like Rachel Van Pelt and Kelsey Koch on our Stories page and on social media. Visit Connect to learn more about how you can take part in this year’s celebrations.
Canadian Blood Services joins national campaign to inspire legacy giving
Yesterday, September13, was International Legacy Giving Day, a day that recognizes the incredible impact that people can have by leaving a donation to a charity in their will. To encourage more Canadians to consider leaving a legacy gift to Canadian Blood Services, we’ve recently partnered with Will Power, a national movement made up of charities, financial advisors and legal professionals. The Will Power initiative seeks to show people how they can make a difference by supporting their favourite causes while also taking care of their loved ones in their will. To learn more, visit Canadian Blood Services’ Will Power page or reach out to the philanthropy team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions of the day: Vaccination policy
In the interest of responding to your important questions about Canadian Blood Services’ new vaccine policy in a timely way, we’re using the regular ‘Question of the Day’ section of Your Digest to respond to several of your questions at once.
How can I access MEDA and the vaccination status reporting tool?
The primary method for employees to enter their status and attestation is through the COVID-19/My COVID-19 Vaccine app on meda.blood.ca, which can be accessed through any computer, tablet or smartphone. If you are not on a Canadian Blood Services network you will be asked, through the app, to provide additional security information from a Canadian Blood Services supplied Entrust grid card. Please refer to the guide on Reporting Vaccination Status on MEDA available on the new vaccine policy page.
What if I can’t receive my two COVID-19 vaccine doses before Oct. 31?
Allowances may be made by Canadian Blood Services to extend the final vaccination date, depending on the employee’s situation. We understand some employees may face challenges in receiving both vaccine doses in time; or may experience delays in collecting proof needed for exemptions. We will work with each employee who is concerned about missing the Oct. 31 deadline. Please send your concerns to EHS@blood.ca.
About your digest
This digest highlights the latest policy and employee support measures, resources to help you manage our new reality and original content like articles and videos to remind us that what we do matters. No access to email? No problem — all this information and more can be found on blood.ca/employees from any device, no login required.
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