WOKING has been chosen as the site for one of just 14 new plasma donation centres across Britain in the biggest trial of its kind in the world to find a treatment for COVID-19.

Residents of the borough and the surrounding area who have had the coronavirus are being asked to register to donate their antibody-rich blood which will be transfused into people who are struggling to develop their own immune response.

The trials of treatments using the antibodies are being carried out in hospitals and it is hoped this could slow or stop the virus spreading, which could save lives.

An NHS Blood and Transplant spokesman said: “There is an urgent need for people in Woking who’ve had COVID to register as donors now, so that they can be booked into appointments in advance. You can register online by searching ‘donate plasma’.”

The Woking donation site will open in the next few weeks. The final venue is being agreed and will be announced shortly and is expected to be in the town centre.

The plasma trials and possible treatment are expected to continue alongside any other measures to combat the virus, including rollouts of vaccines currently being tested.

Professor David Roberts, NHSBT associate medical director for blood donation, said: “We have so far seen a fantastic response from the public (including at the Westfield Stratford City pop-up site, pictured). We would love to see people in Woking offering to donate so we can book them into donation appointments now.

“Donation is safe and easy, and you could save lives.”

If you have had confirmed coronavirus or the symptoms, you can volunteer to donate plasma at www.nhsbt.nhs.uk.

For more on this story, get your copy of the 12 November edition of the Woking News & Mail – in shops now