By Maria Rocha-Buschel
State Senator Brad Hoylman introduced legislation last Tuesday to create a COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Donation Credit, which would create a refundable New York State personal income tax credit of $1,000 for individuals who recovered from COVID-19 and donated their blood plasma for treatment and medical research of the disease. The bill would take effect immediately and apply to the taxable year that began this January 1.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is the worst public health crisis to hit New York in more than a century—New Yorkers who survived the virus have a major role to play in our fight to find treatments and a cure. I’m proud to introduce this legislation, which would create first-of-its-kind benefits for New Yorkers who volunteer to donate blood plasma after recovering from this disease. As we race to conduct research and find a cure for COVID-19, New Yorkers who donate blood plasma deserve our thanks.”
The legislation would amend New York State’s tax law to create a new tax credit for those who have recovered from the illness and donate their blood plasma, either for the purposes of medical research or treatment of patients who are still suffering from COVID-19.
Blood plasma donated from people who have survived COVID-19 can be used for short-term treatment of the virus and can also be used by scientists for research in order to find a cure. The FDA has announced that it is exploring passive immunization, a technique that would transfer plasma from an individual who survived the infection, and therefore developed antibodies against it, to a patient who is infected. Because so many COVID-19 cases are so serious, this experimental treatment is being offered to some patients who have immediately life-threatening infections.
Hoylman’s office said that the state should be encouraging as many COVID-19 survivors as possible to donate during the pandemic because of the convalescent plasma’s potentially life-saving qualities. Hoylman hopes that the credit will encourage plasma donations.