Monoclonal antibody treatment
What is it?
Monoclonal antibody therapeutics are a treatment protocol authorized for emergency use to treat patients with mild or moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk of developing severe symptoms that could require hospitalization. Monoclonal antibodies are like your body’s own antibodies and can help your immune system destroy the COVID-19 virus before it can cause significant harm to your body.
The goal of monoclonal antibody treatment is to prevent hospitalization due to complication of COVID-19 infection.
The earlier the treatment is given after infection, the more effective it is, reducing risk of hospitalization by up to 70% in high-risk patients.
Who is eligible?
- 12 years or older and weigh more than 88 pounds
- Experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 and tested positive
- Are within 10 days of symptom onset
- Have one or more of the following high-risk factors:
- A medical condition or other factor, including race or ethnicity, that puts you at higher risk of progression to severe COVID-19 (determined by care provider)
- Age ≥ 65 years of age
- Obese or overweight
- Chronic kidney disease
- Immunosuppressive disease or immunosuppressive treatment
- Cardiovascular disease or hypertension
- Chronic lung diseases
- Sickle cell disease
- Neurodevelopmental disorders
- Medical-related technological dependence (for example: tracheostomy, gastrostomy, or positive pressure ventilation not related to COVID-19)
- Those at higher risk based on race or ethnicity
- Patient deemed at-risk by provider, including those exposed to covid but not testing positive
As this is an evolving situation, you can find the latest FDA guidelines for monoclonal antibody therapeutics here.
How to get it
If you have recently tested positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms, talk to a healthcare provider right away. Monoclonal antibody treatment must be given within 10 days of getting symptoms (although the sooner the better). These treatments are given through a one-time IV infusion or below the skin injection.
A web-based COVID-19 outpatient treatment locator tool is designed to help health care providers and patients find treatment locations. The locator shows where monoclonal antibody therapeutics have been delivered, including the facility name and address, and which monoclonal antibody therapeutic has been delivered to the site.
There is no cost to eligible patients to get monoclonal antibody therapeutics. The federal government purchased the first 1.5 million doses to ensure the medicine is free and accessible to those who need it. However, if you are insured, the healthcare facility may bill your insurance provider for fees related to administering the infusion. For this reason, you maybe be asked to provide your insurance card — if you have one — at time of treatment.