JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Monoclonal antibody therapy, a free treatment not many of us know about but it’s one way we could protect ourselves from viruses including COVID-19.
Monoclonal antibodies are lab-manufactured antibodies that function similar to the ones your own body makes in response to an infection.
“It’s intended to reduce the amount of virus that replicates in your body, and by decreasing the amount of virus you have in your body you’re able to recover quicker and potentially avoid hospitalizations or visits in the ED," said Chirag Patel, assistant chief medical officer at UF Health Jacksonville.
There have been two products that have been approved under the Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA. One product by the company Lilly and the other by Regeneron.
“When the president became ill and was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center one of the medications in the cocktail that he received was a monoclonal antibody product by Regeneron," said Patel.
Patel says with the approval from the FDA it gives hospitals and health systems the option of requesting one of the two products from the state.
UF Health made a request last year and been infusing since then.
“For patients who are COVID-19 positive and have to meet certain criteria with age and weight but are at high risk for progressing from mild to moderate disease to severity disease," said Patel.”
Patel says it administered like an IV in your arm and the infusion is only an hour long.
“Once you get the monoclonal antibody that doesn’t mean that you can stop wearing your mask, physically distancing, washing your hand it’s not going to give you protection from getting sick again," said Patel.
If interested in being assessed for this procedure you can call UF Health’s patient access line to get started.
The number is 904- 633-0411, open between 8 a.m.to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.