To complement its COVID-19 testing and vaccine services, Churchill County now offers a treatment option for eligible individuals through its outpatient Monoclonal Antibody Therapy clinic.
Monoclonal antibody treatments have been authorized by the federal Food & Drug Administration for emergency use to treat high-risk patients who have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19. The antibodies help the immune system recognize and respond more effectively to the virus. In clinical trials, monoclonal antibody treatment showed a 70% reduction in hospitalization and death among high-risk patients.
Monoclonal antibody therapy may be prescribed by health care providers to non-hospitalized patients 12 years and older who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms or to individuals who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and are at high risk for severe illness and/or hospitalization.
High-risk patients should get treatment as quickly as possible after testing positive for COVID-19 and within 10 days of symptom onset.
Examples of medical conditions that may pose a higher risk for severe illness and could potentially benefit from this treatment include, but are not limited to:
- 65+ years of age
- Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 kg/m2 or greater, or if ages 12-17 have BMI greater than or equal to the 85th percentile for their age and gender
- Chronic kidney disease
- Immunosuppressive diseases
- Currently receiving immunosuppressive treatment
- Cardiovascular disease (including congenital or acquire heart disease)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or other chronic respiratory diseases
- Sickle cell disease
- Neurodevelopmental disorders such as cerebral palsy
- A medical-related technological dependence such as a tracheostomy, gastrostomy or positive pressure ventilation (not related to COVID-19)
- Asthma, reactive airway, or other chronic respiratory disease that requires daily medical for control.
Treatment Exclusion Criteria
Patients are not eligible for mAb treatment if any of the following apply:
- Patient hospitalized due to COVID-19
- Patient requiring oxygen therapy due to COVID-19
- Patient on chronic oxygen therapy requiring an increase in baseline oxygen flow rate due to COVID-19
How is mAb administered?
Monoclonal antibody therapy is primarily administered through IV infusion which takes about an hour. Patients are required to remain at the clinic for an additional hour for monitoring for adverse reactions.
The FDA also authorized and injection for certain monoclonal antibody therapy treatments, including Regeneron. Injections is an alternative route of administration when IV infusion is not feasible and takes about 30 minutes. Patients are required to remain at the clinic for an additional hour for monitoring for adverse reaction following the injection.
Patients should expect to be at the infusion clinic for up to three hours to allow for check-in time and preparation, treatment, and post-treatment monitoring. Guests not permitted in the clinic during treatment.
The patient referral process is similar to other outpatient treatments and requires a physician’s order form. Walk-ins will not be accepted.
Treatment hours are based on patient timeframe of eligibility and county health staffing. Once the Churchill County Health Department receives the physician’s referral, it will work with each patient directly on scheduling in the 10-day timeframe from symptom onset. If patients cannot reach their primary care physician, please email the County Health Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (775)423-6695, option 2 to discuss further options.