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

Important:

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. 

Were you recently exposed to COVID-19? 

Nash UNC's Outpatient COVID Infusion Center has recently added mAb prophylaxis to its list of treatments

What is Monoclonal Antibody (mAb) Prophylaxis?

mAb prophylaxis is post exposure prevention of COVID-19 disease. This treatment may help prevent COVID-19 infection for certain people who have been exposed to someone who is infected with COVID-19.

Who is eligible for mAb prophylaxis?

Prophylaxis must be given within 4 days of initial exposure. Patients also have to meet one of the following: 

  • Has been exposed to, and in close contact with someone with confirmed positive COVID-19 test
  • Is at high risk for exposure due to confirmed COVID-19 infection of another individual within the
    same institution (ex. nursing home)
  • Did not have severe allergic reaction to the drug REGEN-COV

AND

  • Are not currently admitted to an inpatient health facility
  • Is 18 years or older, weighing more than 88 lbs
  • Is not fully vaccinated or is unlikely to build an adequate immune response, for example:
    • Has active cancer
    • Is a solid organ transplant recipient
    • Immunosuppressed and/or taking immunosuppressive medications (ask your doctor)
    • Is on dialysis

How are mAb, mAb prophylaxis, 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 body fight off the disease and decrease your chance of hospitalization
  • mAb prophylaxis is an antibody injection or IV infusion, taken within the first 4 days since confirmed COVID-19 exposure. It is meant to help your body fight off the disease and decrease your chance of getting COVID-19 infection

  • A vaccine is a preventative medicine that is taken before or after having COVID-19

How to receive Monoclonal Antibody Infusion therapy of mAb Prophylaxis

To find out if you are at high risk and eligible for Monoclonal Antibody infusion therapy or mAb Prophylaxis, 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.

Do you think you have COVID-19?

If you are concerned that you may have COVID-19, experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the virus, you should be tested. Getting a test is the best way to protect your family, friends, and loved ones.

Find a testing site

If you are having difficulty breathing, call 911 or seek immediate treatment