Monoclonal Antibody Infusion Therapy for COVID-19
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the emergency use of monoclonal antibody infusion therapy (mABs) as a treatment for COVID-19. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19, you may be eligible for monoclonal antibody treatment, which might prevent you from becoming sicker.
What Are Monoclonal Antibodies?
Antibodies are part of our natural defense against viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. But they take time for the body to make. Antibodies designed to attack COVID-19 have been developed, and in several studies have been shown to reduce the risk of progressing to severe COVID-19 and hospitalization when given early to people who test positive for COVID-19. This therapy is given as an infusion through an IV at Nash UNC's outpatient COVID Infusion Center.
Are You High Risk for Severe COVID-19 and Eligible?
The criteria for patients to be considered for Monoclonal Antibody infusion therapy are:
- Test positive for COVID-19
- Have at least 1 or more mild-to-moderate symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, etc.)
- Are 12 years of age or older, weighing more than 88lbs. (Not all clinics offer treatment for patients under the age of 18; please discuss with your pediatrician)
- Are the age 65+, or age less than 65 with a chronic health problem that puts you at risk for severe COVID-19. These include obesity, diabetes, lung disease, and heart disease, among others.
- Not currently admitted to an inpatient facility or hospital
Monoclonal antibody therapy needs to be given as soon as possible after symptoms start to work—ideally within 4 days and no longer than 7 days.
Some COVID patients say they feel better between the first 3 to 5 days of having symptoms, however their symptoms often come back. When deciding whether or not to receive monoclonal antibody infusion therapy (mABs), please consider that symptoms can come back when it is too late to receive the treatment. Since this therapy must be taken within the first 10 days of symptoms, it is important to make your decision as quickly as possible.
How is mABs and the COVID Vaccine different?
- mABs is an antibody IV infusion therapy, taken during the first 10 days of COVID symptoms, with a positive COVID test. It is meant to help your bod fight off the disease and decrease your chance of hospitalization
- A vaccine is a preventative medicine that is taken before or after having COVID-19
How to receive Monoclonal Antibody Infusion therapy
To find out if you are at high risk and eligible for Monoclonal Antibody infusion therapy, please call the UNC COVID Help Line at 888-850-2684, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., seven days a week, including holidays.