Brigham Young University-Idaho (BYU-Idaho) has warned its students against “intentionally” exposing themselves to COVID-19 in the hope of getting the disease so that they could sell their plasma for a few hundred bucks.
The university said they have come across “accounts” that some individuals have done so, and urged its students to report such activities if they see it among their peers.
“The university condemns this behavior and is actively seeking evidence of any such conduct among our student body,” the statement said, adding that the students who do so would be “immediately suspended” or even “permanently dismissed.”
Acknowledging the economic hardship the students might be going through during the pandemic, the university offered to help them.
“If students are struggling, BYU-Idaho stands ready to help. There is never a need to resort to behavior that endangers health or safety in order to make ends meet,” the statement read.
Up to $200 for Plasma
The message comes in the wake of reports that several plasma centers in Idaho near the school are offering money to those who have recovered from the coronavirus and have the antibodies, reported The Salt Lake Tribune.
Plasma is a yellow liquid making up 55 percent of human blood. It is removed from the blood during the donation process. Plasma carries cells, proteins, and other vital substances and serves many functions, including fighting diseases.
Some of the plasma donation centers in the state, the paper reported, are offering between $100 to $200 per donation to donors who have recovered from COVID-19, while the plasma of those who were not infected by the virus is fetching around $25.
“It takes anywhere from 130 donations to 1,300 donations to treat one patient for one year, depending on their condition,” said Vlasta Hakes, a spokeswoman for Grifols, the parent company for Biomat USA that collects and markets plasma, to The Salt Lake Tribune.