What is going on with monoclonal antibody therapy?

With recent COVID, treatment harder to get
Video from WALB
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 7:15 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - With the recent surge of COVID-19, monoclonal antibody therapy has become harder to attain.

It’s because it is federally funded and because of the limited supply, the CDC and the FDA have updated the guidelines on who is eligible to receive it.

But what is monoclonal antibody therapy and how does it help?

“It’s a way for us to give your immune system kind of a jump start after a patient has been infected by and tested positive for COVID. It was also used in some instances for people of high risk to give them pre-exposure,” said Dr. James Black with Phoebe Putney Health System.

Before, it was administered as a series of shots but not anymore.

“It will now consist of a single antibody infusion, no injections at this time,” said Black.

Black explained who is eligible to receive the infusion.

“Currently, you need to be within a certain set of days of an onset of tests. Four days with a positive test, 10 days within an onset of symptoms. But additionally, if you are immunocompromised, you’re considered the high-risk category and or if you’re aged 75 and above and unvaccinated or 65 and above and unvaccinated with a cohort of conditions,” said Black.

Although the treatment is not a replacement for the vaccine, it has been proven to help the immune system while it recovers from COVID-19.

”Antibodies that are already prepared to help defend your body, while your own immune system gains strength and is able to help deal with the illness,” said Black.

And so far, Black said the effects have not been extreme.

“Nothing that was severe or long-lasting that was seen and we’ve run one of the largest antibody infusion programs in the state. And I think to date, we’ve used antibody infusions on over 4,200 patients,” said Black.

Black said they hope the number of patients that come in for infusions will increase once they do receive more of those antibody treatments.

If you want to find out if you are eligible for the treatment, call 229-312-MYMD.

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