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Texas County Memorial Hospital will start administering Monoclonal Antibody (mAB) infusions on Wednesday, Sept. 15.
As the hospital continues to see a high number of COVID cases within the community, it will begin offering mAB’s to hopefully reduce the likelihood of hospitalization, recover faster from COVID-19, and decrease the amount of virus in your body.
Jessica Gettys, TCMH pharmacist, stated that the mAB’s are just like your body’s antibodies, but are specifically selected for their strong ability to resist the virus.
“They work quickly to slow down the infection,” Gettys said. “While allowing your body to mount its own immune response.”
Gettys said the treatment window is as soon as possible after a positive test and within 10 days of symptom onset. The prophylaxis window is as soon as possible after a known exposure.
“Monoclonal antibody infusions are used for certain people who are at risk for developing severe cases of COVID-19,” Jenn Capeder, TCMH director of infection control, said. “Through an IV, patients will receive a concentrated number of antibodies that have been identified to fight COVID.”
Capeder mentioned that if you are diagnosed with COVID-19 or have a close contact exposure to a COVID positive person, you can call 417-967-0404 and leave a voice message. You will receive a call back within 24 hours during the week to screen and schedule the procedure.
“The infusions are provided at no cost to the patient,” Capeder stated. “Patients 12 years of age and up are eligible if they meet the risk criteria.”
If agreement to receive treatment has been made, the nursing staff will schedule a time for you to receive the infusion. Upon arrival at the hospital, call registration at 417-967-1413 to let them know you are there. A member of the hospital staff will direct you to the infusion wing door and will meet you outside to take you to the room where you will receive the infusion. You will be required to wear an N95 mask while in the facility to protect staff and patients.
Gettys mentioned that the infusion will be provided under medical supervision and will take approximately 30 minutes from start to finish. Monitoring will take place for an hour after completion to watch for any adverse reactions.
Capeder noted that monoclonal antibody infusions are not a replacement for the COVID vaccine.
“If you have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 and wish to become vaccinated,” Gettys said. “There is a 90-day waiting period after receiving monoclonal antibody therapy.”
Gettys further noted that if you have already received one or both doses of COVID-19 vaccine and you are eligible, you can receive mAB treatment.
For more information about TCMH providers and their clinic locations, please visit our website at www.tcmh.org.