COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Health experts are recommending monoclonal antibody treatments for those that have been diagnosed with a case of COVID-19 that does not require them to be hospitalized.
The treatment works to prevent hospitalization and should be given to patients with mild to moderate symptoms, officials say. The Biden administration says the treatment has been 70% effective in unvaccinated individuals.
As the delta variant spreads rapidly the monoclonal treatments are being used more across the United States. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services last month announced it was expanding state-run sites where the treatment was available through a $15 million contract. Those sites include one in Pettis County.
Dr. Christopher Sampson with MU Health Care physician recommends the treatment to all those that qualify.
"Monoclonal antibodies are antibodies that are made in a laboratory that are then given through an infusion, that then help you fight the infection by attacking certain things whether it be a virus or a bacteria directly," Sampson said.
Sampson said the treatment is not for everyone.
"If you need to be hospitalized or you're requiring oxygen or anything like that then monoclonal antibodies is not for you," Sampson said.
Patients that qualify as high-risk -- such as those with suppressed immune systems or diabetes or the elderly -- may qualify for the treatment.
Sampson said side effects and symptoms are rare and the treatment is highly effective.
"With any infusion or medication it's always possible to have a reaction that is why it is done in the hospital setting where you can be observed, but so far the patient suffering or side effect reaction is very low," Sampson said.
Patients receiving the antibody treatment only need one infusion and the process lasts about 20 minutes.
Boone Health, MU Health Care, SSM HEALTH St. Marys, Lake Regional Hospital and Capital Regional are offering the treatment.