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Some Lexington area hospitals offering monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19

Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 5:40 PM EST
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VERSAILLES, Ky. (WKYT) - While many people are focused on the vaccine to prevent COVID-19, doctors are still focused on improving treatment for active cases.

Doctors in some area hospitals are using monoclonal antibody treatment. The goal is to reduce the risk of hospitalization by about two-thirds.

Two different kinds were approved for emergency use by the FDA, and doctors say the therapy will lessen the severity of COVID-19 cases when detected early.

“The monoclonal antibodies are proteins that were made in a lab that we give through an IV to a patient with COVID to boost their antibody response before their body is able to make its own antibodies,” said Dr Brian Smith with Bluegrass Community Hospital.

Dr. Smith says so far he’s seen success with the new drugs.

“I know that none of my patients, from an outpatient standpoint, ended up needing to be hospitalized,” Dr. Smith said.

Dr. Smith points out this is just for active cases of COVID-19. It’s not a preventative treatment like the vaccine.

“The vaccine instigates your own body to make the antibodies. Whereas this infusion will just last 10 to 14 days while the antibodies that we’re giving you are circulating in your body,” Dr. Smith said.

While the treatment is only available for people 65 and older or with underlying health conditions, Dr. Smith just says he’s happy to see progress being made to fight the virus.

“I think we’ve turned a corner. I think it only will be, it can only get better,” Dr. Smith said.

Patients with active cases of COVID-19 should talk to their doctors to find out if they qualify for the treatment.

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