In late April, a coalition of New Mexico healthcare systems began asking local COVID-19 survivors to donate their plasma, the antibody-rich blood product used to help treat people hospitalized with the disease.

More than 50 people donated in May, but then the numbers starting falling, according to data from Vitalant, a nonprofit blood bank that works with the coalition to recruit donors. In June, 34 people gave plasma to the effort, the data show; in July it was just 29.

The coalition’s struggle is not unique. Across the United States, home to the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak, demand is soaring for COVID-19 convalescent plasma, known as CCP, to keep sick patients alive. But the number of willing donors isn’t keeping pace, according to interviews Reuters conducted with more than 25 regional hospitals, blood centers and other blood industry players across the country.

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