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New monoclonal antibody treatment cleared for use by the FDA

Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 8:07 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A third antibody-based treatment now has emergency authorization from the FDA. It’s not been sent out for use yet, but other antibody treatments have already had an impact in some facilities.

Staff at King’s Daughters Medical Center in Brookhaven says monoclonal antibody treatments have been a game changer for reducing the number of hospital admissions. And the newly approved treatment will soon become their 1st choice.

“We plan on ordering it as soon as we can,” explained Director of Pharmacy, Karen Freeman. “Because it is active against all the variants so far. Right now, we’re using Regeneron and the bamlanivimab and etesevimab combo and it has has not been as effective against the variants. So, we’re looking to using it and only use Regeneron and the new sotrovimab as soon as we can get it in.”

“We’ve given 793 monoclonal antibodies to date and it’s tremendously knocked down the amount that actually comes back,” added ER nurse, Eric Rowland.

And that means it’s doing its job. It’s given by IV in the ER here but patients are in and out in a couple of hours.

“Works to boost your immune system,” described Freeman. “So, instead of taking time for your immune system to build antibodies, your body is automatically infused with antibodies that will help to neutralize the coronavirus. So it will just automatically start working instead of waiting for your body to start fighting it.”

It’s most effective in the first five days after symptoms start but can be given within a 10 day window. Staff says the sooner the therapy can start, the better.

“It definitely kind of makes you perk back up a lot quicker,” explained Rowland. “We hear that they get to feeling a lot better afterwards. Usually, we’ve had some come in who felt better when they left out of here, they felt a lot better. Some say the next day they kind of start getting better. And then kind of over the course of the week getting better and better.”

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs noted in his tweet that the new treatment is not only effective against the variants, but also shows an 85% reduction in death or hospitalization.

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