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MU Health Care providing outpatient treatments for COVID-19

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Two oral medications and two infusion therapies to treat COVID-19 in an outpatient setting are now being offered by MU Health Care.

To receive these outpatient treatments, patients will either have to be immunocompromised, unvaccinated and older than 64 years old, or unvaccinated and younger than 65 with other clinical risk factors, under guidelines from the National Institute of Health Treatments.

MU Health Care stated in a news release that patients will also need to have a positive COVID-19 test to be eligible for the treatments.

The U.S Food and Drug Administration has issued emergency use authorizations for Paxlovid, molunpiravir, sotrovimab and remdesivir.

Paxlovid and molunpiravir are the two antiviral pills MU Health Care now offers and must be taken within five days of onset symptoms.

The two oral treatments must be taken twice a day for five days.

Sotrovimab and remdesivir are the two infusion options being offered. Sotrovimab must be administered within 10 days from when a patient starts having symptoms. Remdesivir must be administered within seven days.

Sotrovimab is a one-time infusion while, remdesivir is administered once a day for three days.

Pills to fight COVID-19 and antibodies had been scarce as the omicron wave took hold and pushed new cases and hospitalizations to new levels.

Boone Health offers these treatments. The health system is also using guidelines from the National Institute of Health Treatments, which they called a "tier system." Doctors who prescribes the treatment will have to certify that their patient meets the criteria.

Dr. Blount with Boone Health says, "We have to make sure the people that are in most need, that are at highest risk for being hospitalized, death, etc. those are the ones that are getting it."

Sotrovimab and remdesivir are monoclonal antibody treatments, which have been used to treat COVID-19 patients for a large part of the pandemic. They are the two remaining effective antibody treatments after the FDA warned against the use of certain monoclonal antibody treatments since they aren't as effective against the omicron variant. However, sotrovimab and remdesivir were not included in the warning.

Some Republicans have criticized the FDA's decision, saying the government is taking away treatment options from doctors.

As hospitals are hitting the brink with COVID-19 patients, health experts say these treatments can be effective in keeping sick people out of hospitals, which are grappling with record numbers of COVID-19 patients and sick staff members amid the omicron wave. The treatments will allow patients who are at high risk to stay home for their treatment.

Boone County reported a record 192 patients in hospitals yesterday, with 136 in MU Health Care hospitals alone.

Those who are experiencing symptoms and may meet eligibility for these treatments should call their primary care provider, MU Health said.

The Department of Health and Human Services has an online map that shows the location and available supply of COVID-19 treatments by medical providers. The map shows treatments available at all Columbia and Jefferson City hospitals.

Erika McGuire

Comments

5 Comments

    1. Um… Except Ivermectin has not been shown to be of benefit in COVID 19 , Should we pretend to be surprised that our village idiot Alice the Dog is promoting a drug that has no evidence that it works against COVID over a very well proven and very safe therapy in the form of vaccines.

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