CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and CAMC are requesting a larger allocation of monoclonal antibodies to help treat COVID-19 patients.
Health officials say with West Virginia’s COVID-19 hospitalizations at the highest levels they have been during the pandemic, a larger supply of the monoclonal antibody treatments would help keep West Virginians who contract COVID-19 out of the hospital, especially those who are at a higher risk of developing a severe illness from the virus.
Today, Oct. 1, 2021, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reported a total of 972 West Virginians are currently hospitalized with 281 people in the ICU and 188 on ventilators.
“In addition to helping keep people out of the hospital, the treatments have reduced the number of patients requiring ICU care and has reduced deaths from COVID-19,” the health organizations said.
According to CAMC and KCHD officials, the supplies of monoclonal antibodies are distributed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The antibodies are laboratory-made and were created to mimic the natural antibodies to limit the amount of virus in the patient’s body.
Health officials say there has also been a “significant increase” in the referrals to the county’s monoclonal antibody clinic.
“CAMC and the KCHD need to be allotted an increasing amount of monoclonals immediately,” the organizations said. “Unless we receive more monoclonal antibody, we will have to turn away people in need of this life-saving treatment. This is important to the patients who need the treatment, as well as the hospitals throughout the state who are struggling to have enough beds to care for our communities.”
CAMC has been providing a monoclonal antibody clinic since the treatment for COVID-19 was approved in November 2020. The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department began offering a clinic for the treatment in September.
To receive the treatment, patients must meet strict criteria and have a physician’s order. The treatment involves a 20-minute infusion followed by an hour of observations to monitor the patient for any possible allergic reactions.