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New Online Resource Shows How You Can Help to Fight COVID-19

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Combat COVID

There are lots of useful online resources to learn about COVID-19 and some of the clinical studies taking place across the country. What’s been missing is a one-stop online information portal that pulls together the most current information for people of all groups, races, ethnicities, and backgrounds who want to get involved in fighting the pandemic. So, I’m happy to share that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in coordination with NIH and Operation Warp Speed, has just launched a website called Combat COVID.

This easy-to-navigate portal makes it even easier for you and your loved ones to reach informed decisions about your health and to find out how to help in the fight against COVID-19. Indeed, it shows that no matter your current experience with COVID-19, there are opportunities to get involved to develop vaccines and medicines that will help everyone. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers have already taken this step—but we still need more, so we are seeking your help.

The Combat COVID website, which can also be viewed in Spanish, is organized to guide you to the most relevant information based on your own COVID-19 status:

• If you’ve never had COVID-19, you’ll be directed to information about joining the COVID-19 Prevention Network’s Volunteer Screening Registry. This registry is creating a list of potential volunteers willing to take part in ongoing or future NIH clinical trials focused on preventing COVID-19—like vaccines. Why get involved in a clinical trial now if vaccines will be widely distributed in the future? Well, there’s still a long way to go to get the pandemic under control, and several promising vaccines are still undergoing definitive testing. Your best route to getting access to a vaccine right now might be a clinical trial. And the more vaccines that are found to be safe and effective, the sooner we will be able to immunize all Americans and many others around the world.

• If you have an active COVID-19 infection, you’ll be directed to information about ongoing clinical trials that are studying better ways to treat the infection with promising drugs and other treatments. There are currently at least nine ongoing clinical trials for adults at every stage of COVID-19 illness. That includes five NIH Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) public-private partnership trials. All of these are promising treatments, but need to be rigorously tested to be sure they are safe and effective.

• If you’ve recovered from a confirmed case of COVID-19, you may be able to give the gift of life to someone else. Check out Combat COVID, where you’ll be directed to information about how to donate blood plasma. Once donated, this plasma may be infused into another person to help treat COVID-19 or it may be used to make a potential medicine.

• For doctors treating people with COVID-19, the website also provides a collection of useful information, including details on how to connect patients to ongoing clinical trials and other opportunities to combat COVID-19.

While I’m discussing online resources, NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) also recently launched an interesting website for a critical initiative called the Serological Sciences Network for COVID-19 (SeroNet). A collaboration between several NIH components and 25 of the nation’s top biomedical research institutions, SeroNet will increase the national capacity for antibody testing, while also investigating all aspects of the immune response to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. That includes studying variations in the severity of COVID-19 symptoms, the influence of pre-existing conditions for developing severe disease, and the chances of reinfection.

In our efforts to combat COVID-19, we’ve come a long way in a short period of time. But there is still plenty of work to do to get the pandemic under control to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities. Be a hero. Follow the three W’s: Wear a mask. Watch your distance (stay 6 feet apart). Wash your hands often. And, if you’d like to find what else you can do to help, follow your way to Combat COVID.

Links:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) (NIH)

Combat COVID (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C.)

Explaining Operation Warp Speed (HHS)

Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) (NIH)

Serological Sciences Network for COVID-19 (SeroNet) (National Cancer Institute/NIH)

4 Comments

  • Maria C. says:

    Sadly much research needs to be done regarding reinfection. I became covid positive in 3/21/20, developed antibodies. Tested negative every month. However, on 12/29/20 while doing my routine monthly testing I was positive again. In spite of the many precautions. As per my Dr, I didn’t developed any symptoms this time because of my antibodies but did catch covid again. Many of my nursing colleagues also have become covid positive again after many months of been negative.

    • W.W. says:

      I wouldn’t be too sure that your case is as you say it. The possibility of mistaken positives, along with the scarcity of re-infection even a year later, tells us that your second test must have been a mistake.
      If there were symptoms I would not say so, but any re-infection that I heard about was asymptomatic. I have been searching for more information, but the CDC is hedging its position, only saying that 90 day immunity seems to be conferred, ignoring the months after that.

  • Anonymous Doctor says:

    What about the inhaled monoclonal antibodies that was developed by UAB? The intravenous form needs infusion centers and so much more costly. Why is Operation Warp Speed not investing in this seemingly easy and available potential treatment for the masses?

  • Margaret G. says:

    I tested positive 11/4/20 (PCR). Typical COVID symptoms continued until 11/20. But all PCR tests following end of symptoms continued to be positive with last test on 11/25/20 when I was finally advised to stop testing. I fell ill again 2/7/21 with sinus infection like symptoms along with continuous cough, rash and fatigue (somewhat different symptoms than first case) and tested positive (PCR test) on 2/8/21. Because this is a reinfection, apparently I do not qualify for monoclonal antibodies trial. And no one seems interested in investigating my ‘rare’ reinfection.
    What is being done to track reinfections?

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