Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson's blood to be used for COVID-19 vaccine

22 April 2020, 10:33 | Updated: 22 April 2020, 10:37

Tom Hanks and wife and actress Rita Wilson at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
Tom Hanks and wife and actress Rita Wilson at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals. Picture: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The Hollywood star has revealed both he and his wife "carry the antibodies" after they both became sick with the virus last month.

Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson's blood is to be used in research to help develop a vaccine for coronavirus.

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The married Hollywood couple were among the first high-profile celebrities to contract COVID-19, falling ill while in Australia where Tom Hanks was filming for Baz Luhrmann's upcoming Elvis Presley biopic.

After going public with their diagnosis and keeping fans updated on their condition whilst in isolation Down Under, they made a full recovery and were allowed to return to their home in Los Angeles.

Now the Forrest Gump star has revealed that they enrolled in a medical study to determine if their antibodies would be useful for scientists working on developing a vaccine, and they have been approved.

Speaking on NPR podcast Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, he said: "We just found out that we do carry the antibodies.

"We have not only been approached; we have said, do you want our blood? Can we give plasma? And, in fact, we will be giving it now to the places that hope to work on what I would like to call the Hank-ccine."

The Saving Private Ryan star previously revealed that his producer-and-actress wife Rita suffered much worse coronavirus symptoms than he did and he was concerned for her health.

"Rita went through a tougher time than I did," he said. "She had a much-higher fever and she had some other symptoms. She lost her sense of taste and smell. She got absolutely no joy from food for a better part of three weeks.

"She was so nauseous, she had to crawl on the floor from the bed to the facilities. It lasted a while."

The pair first revealed they caught Covid-19 on Instagram, writing: "Hello folks. @ritawilson and I want to thank everyone here Down Under who are taking such good care of us. We have Covid-19 and are in isolation so we do not spread it to anyone else."

They added: "There are those for whom it could lead to a very serious illness. We are taking it one-day-at-a-time. There are things we can all do to get through this by following the advice of experts and taking care of ourselves and each other, no? Remember, despite all the current events, there is no crying in baseball. Hanx"

Get the latest NHS advice on Coronavirus

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