Doctors say Monoclonal Antibody Treatments are helping keeping patients out of the hospital

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – The nation’s health leaders say the surge in Covid-19 cases is only getting worse and that thousands of individuals will die over the next few weeks.

Fortunately, there is a treatment being administered that’s keeping some Tennesseeans out of the hospital.

It’s called monoclonal antibody therapy.

Infusions like the Regeneron one, contain a  cocktail of Monoclonal antibodies that were developed to treat Covid-19 symptoms by creating a faster immune response – often decreasing the need for hospitalization.  

“Most of these antibodies bind to the spike protein. What binding does is limits the access of the virus from going into the cells. It also allows our immune cells to engulf the virus because of the antibody and eliminate the virus rather than getting infected by it,” says Dr. Carlos Baleeiro, Pulmonologist at CHI Memorial.

But this therapy cannot be given to everyone. In order to receive the medication, you must meet certain high-risk criteria – such as being immunocompromised, overweight or having a chronic condition. 

“ This is for people who are not in the hospital. So if you have a mild infection. You are thankfully doing well but you have one of those conditions; early treatment within the first seven days will reduce the risk of being hospitalized and ending up on the ventilator or dying,” says Dr. Baleeiro.

The cost of the treatment is free and patients typically need to be referred by the physician.

Our local hospitals such as CHI Memorial and Erlanger are currently administering this treatment and believe the antibodies have made a difference. 

“Any tool that we have currently that would help reduce the number of people requiring hospitalization – we should be using it to the best of our ability. We need to put most of our attention on prevention and getting vaccinated. But for short-term play for unvaccinated, high-risk individuals who get covid-19 that’s where these monoclonals come into play,” says Dr. Jay Sizemore, Infectious Disease at Erlanger. 

Doctors want to stress that this is a treatment for Covid-19 symptoms. It can not prevent a person from getting the virus. A Covid-19 vaccination is still recommended.

Categories: Chattanooga, COVID-19, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News, Regional News