The Will County Health Department says people with COVID-19 may now have a new treatment available to them that could lessen their symptoms and possibly speed up their recovery. The US Food and Drug Administration has given Emergency Use Authorization to monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19.
Monoclonal antibodies, also known as “mAbs,” are man-made identical twins of antibodies that the human body makes. The difference is that they are made in a laboratory, but they act just like any other disease fighting antibody. Dr. Jennifer Byrd,
Chief Medical Officer of Will County Community Health Center, said, “Remember, our antibodies are soldiers hiding in our cells constantly fighting off infections. Monoclonal Antibodies do the same.” Monoclonal antibodies stop the COVID-19 virus from sticking to and attacking our cells.
According to Dr. Byrd, anyone who is infected with COVID-19 may be eligible for treatment with monoclonal antibodies, and persons who are immunocompromised or have chronic medical conditions often benefit the most because their bodies are simply not able to mount a strong immune response. Monoclonal antibody treatments do not contain any live virus and cannot give a person COVID-19.
Still, this is a new form of treatment, and there may be side effects. One might experience pain and soreness at the location of the shot. Monoclonal antibody treatment may also have a negative impact on the effectiveness of a person’s COVID-19 vaccination; however, it can be a lifesaving treatment. One recent National Institute of Health study suggests that over a 4-week period “an estimated 235 or more hospitalizations were avoided” because of this type of treatment.
If you are interested in a monoclonal antibody treatment, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you must have been tested positive for COVID-19 within 10 days of getting treatment. Second, in order to get treatment, you must get a referral from your doctor. Finally, you will have to locate a special facility to treat you.
Patients can find a health center for monoclonal antibody treatment by going either to
https://infusioncenter.org/ or https://protect-public.hhs.gov/pages/therapeutics-distribution#distribution-locations
Also, the US Department of Health & Human Services has a call center if a person has questions about
monoclonal antibody treatments: 1-877-332-6585 (English Language) or 1-877-366-0310 (Spanish Language).