About the Pass It On trial

Many new medications and treatments have been studied to see if they help people with COVID-19 recover faster. 
The Pass It On study was a clinical trial looking to see if convalescent plasma

was an effective treatment for unvaccinated patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
The results of this trial showed that plasma was not helpful for patients hospitalized with COVID-19. 

What was done

The Pass It On trial took place at 26 locations across the United States. Convalescent plasma was given to patients in the hospital who were sick with COVID-19 to see if it helped them recover faster from the virus. None of the participants had received a COVID-19 vaccine before they joined. About half of participants received convalescent plasma, and the other half a mixture of water, salt, and vitamins that were added to match the plasma in color (placebo).

What is convalescent plasma?

Convalescent plasma is the liquid part of blood that contains antibodies. In the Pass It On trial, convalescent plasma was donated by people who had recovered from COVID-19 because their plasma had antibodies that could help fight the virus. Convalescent plasma was then given to patients who were sick and hospitalized with COVID-19.

Watch “What is Convalescent Plasma” VIDEO >

Who joined the study?

What was learned?

Watch Pass It On Trial Results Video

Wesley H. Self, MD, MPH
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

The results from the Pass It On study showed there was no benefit to using convalescent plasma in patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
Convalescent plasma:

    • Did not decrease the risk of death
    • Did not improve recovery
    • Was not harmful or helpful

This means that convalescent plasma – even with high levels of antibodies – did not help hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
These findings were consistent with the December 2021 announcement from the World Health Organization (WHO) that now recommends against the use of convalescent plasma for treating COVID-19. To learn more about their guidance, click here.

Why this matters?

These findings are important and give researchers evidence that using convalescent plasma to treat
hospitalized COVID-19 patients is unlikely to be helpful. This information will help physicians be able to better
treat patients who are sick with COVID-19. As the pandemic continues, it’s still important to search
for safe and effective treatments against the virus.

Thank you!

The Pass It On research team would like to express our gratitude to all the participants who took part in this trial, as well as their families and loved ones. A special thanks to the volunteers that made this trial possible through the donation of their plasma, and to all the healthcare providers who cared for the hospitalized patients in the trial.

Community Outreach & Engagement

The Pass It On trial was committed to partnering with communities to help raise awareness about the trial, and engaged with over 1,700 community organizations from across the US. Their support helped make this trial happen. We would like to share our heartfelt thanks to the many community organizations and people who collaborated with the trial and helped to raise awareness about this research study.

Clinical trials

Why are clinical trials important?

Clinical trials, also called medical trials, are research studies that test new ways
to prevent, screen for, diagnose, or treat disease. They are the main way that researchers
find out if a new treatment, like a new medication, is safe and effective in people.

Participant Perspective

Read what Pass It On participants Belinda and Jessica had to say about their experience taking part in this trial.

New opportunities to take part in research
Interested in taking part in research studies but don’t know where to start?


ResearchMatch is an online platform that “matches” people
who are interested in participating in research studies with
researchers from all across the U.S. ResearchMatch makes it
easy to connect with researchers who are looking for volunteers! Researchers need both healthy people and people with all types of health conditions. Everyone can be the perfect match, at ResearchMatch. Learn more at ResearchMatch.org.

Trials Today

This online search engine allows you to search the thousands of studies in ClinicalTrials.gov that are actively recruiting participants. Answer a few short questions and receive a list of relevant research studies.

This tool also helps you contact the study teams to learn more. Find a trial today, with Trials Today.

Combat COVID

Combat COVID Find other ways to prevent, treat, or help fight COVID-19 by taking part in a research study. Visit CombatCOVID to learn more.