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Those newly diagnosed with COVID-19 now have easier access to a treatment that can help them recover faster without needing to be hospitalized.
With a simple 30-minute infusion, monoclonal antibody therapy is the only treatment currently available in the U.S. that’s been proven to help COVID-19 patients in the outpatient setting, before they get severely ill from the virus.
“Studies show it is important patients receive this treatment as early as possible after getting COVID-19 to help reduce the amount of virus in the body, improve symptoms sooner, and make it less likely to be admitted to a hospital,” explains AdventHealth infectious disease specialist Dr. Vincent Hsu.
And the good news is, AdventHealth has several outpatient clinics conveniently located throughout Central Florida to make it easier for patients to get access to this potentially life-saving treatment.
“Monoclonal antibodies are an effective but underutilized therapy to reduce COVID-19 severity in high-risk patients,” Hsu said.
Antibodies are made by the immune system to fight the virus, but it takes weeks after infection for them to form. This treatment uses lab-made versions of antibodies that can help right away and it became more widely known after President Donald Trump received this type of therapy after contracting COVID-19 in Oct. 2020.
Who is a candidate?
Monoclonal antibody therapy is not for everyone, but the good news is, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently updated the criteria to include almost anyone deemed appropriate by a physician. This includes patients 65 and older, anyone overweight or obese, those with hypertension or diabetes, patients who are pregnant, and many other medical conditions or factors (such as race or ethnicity).
Monoclonal antibodies are authorized for treating mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (age 12 & older) with positive results of COVID-19, and who are at risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization. Anyone who meets any of the following conditions or criteria is a candidate for this treatment:
- Older age (≥ 65 years)
- Obesity or overweight
- Cardiovascular disease (for example, high blood pressure)
- Chronic lung diseases
- Chronic kidney disease
- Immunosuppressive disease or treatment
- Sickle cell disease
- Neurodevelopmental disorders
- Medical-related technological dependence
- Other medical conditions or factors (for example, race or ethnicity)
How can I (or my loved one) get this treatment?
The Florida Department of Health has opened multiple clinics for monoclonal antibody treatments across the state. At these state-supported clinics, no prescription or referral is required and there is no cost for the treatment. Individuals 12 & older who are high-risk and have been diagnosed or exposed to COVID-19 are eligible for this treatment at the Florida Department of Health clinics, regardless of vaccination status. To learn more, including location details and how to make an appointment, click here, or call the Florida Department of Health Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Support Line: Call850-344-9637.
AdventHealth offers monoclonal antibody therapies at outpatient clinic locations in Central Florida, located in Orange County (Orlando) and Volusia County (Orange City). However, a physician order is required for patients to receive this treatment. To learn more, call the AdventHealth Coronavirus Information Line at 877-VIRUS-HQ