New monoclonal antibody therapy helps to save lives

Coronavirus in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Monoclonal antibodies or mAb are made in a laboratory to fight a particular infection, and in this case, the virus that causes COVID-19. These antibodies are then directly administered through therapy to COVID-positive patients with an infusion or shot.

“It works, it’s safe, and it’s proven,” said Kent Carper, Kanawha County Commission.

Sunday, the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department administered the second round of monoclonal antibody therapy, in addition to their free COVID vaccination and testing clinic.

“Dr. Young had this building completely refigured in less than five days. She is personally administering the antibody while she is training her staff to do it,” said Carper.

Health departments say the vaccine is still the most effective option in protecting you from COVID-19. Although if positive, this therapy is highly recommended to help those at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19, hospitalization, or both. Recipients of this therapy must be referred by a doctor in order to receive it.

“One is an infusion therapy which is about a 20-minute process of infusion that goes in intravenously, and then it requires about an hour observation by our staff. The other process is an injection therapy which is four shots that are administered in the lower quadrant of the body, and then you have an hour of observation by our staff,” said Robbie Queen, Operations Director Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.

The sooner you get antibody therapy upon receiving a COVID positive result, the better chances you have for protection. Although, quarantine must still be fully completed after receiving treatment. The goal of the infusion therapy is to help people get better faster and to keep patients out of overcrowded hospitals.

“What we are trying to do is to relieve that and prevent folks from even getting to the point that they have to go to the ER, or have to be put on a ventilator, or have to go into the ICU,” said Queen.

Kanawha-Charleston Health Department says they will continue working around the clock to provide the community with first, second, and third COVID shots and antibody therapy. They encourage you to get vaccinated and to wear a mask.

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