03 May COVID-19 in your first 10 days – There’s a Treatment for That!
As we continue to navigate COVID-19, we’re excited to see more and more people receive the vaccine and celebrate a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved treatment for COVID-19 — monoclonal antibody treatments. A new treatment presents new questions. Monoclonal antibody treatments are typically used within the first ten days of treatment to prevent severe and hospitalized cases of COVID-19.
What are monoclonal antibodies and how do they work?
Monoclonal antibodies are human-made antibodies that are meant to discover and combat invaders to the body, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungus. The way they work depends on the disease they are meant to fight. For example, to combat auto-immune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, monoclonal antibodies restrict the body’s harm to itself. In the case of the COVID-19 virus, monoclonal antibodies copy a typical function of our immune system by blocking the COVID-19 virus from attaching and entering human cells.
How do monoclonal antibodies work against the COVID-19 variants?
Each time a person contracts a virus, the virus responds by adapting and changing. These changes affect how the antibodies must react.
Monoclonal antibodies work differently from vaccines, in that they prepare our immune systems for the present infection – they don’t prevent an infection the way vaccines do. Monoclonal antibodies can even be used by people who have already been vaccinated but become ill from COVID-19 after vaccination. By assisting our body’s immune system in real-time, monoclonal antibodies can reduce the length and severity of COVID-19 variant infections.
Vaccines are necessary in eliminating COVID-19, but we need effective therapies at our disposal to protect those that contract COVID-19. While the COVID-19 virus continues to impact our day-to-day lives, our bodies are smart and adaptable and with the help of researchers and manufacturers, we will continue to find new treatments and therapies to defeat COVID-19 and keep each other safe and healthy.
What to do if you or someone you know has been diagnosed with COVID-19
There are monoclonal antibody treatments available for COVID-19 positive patients who are at high-risk of severe COVID-19 illness. You are eligible for treatments if you:
- are 65 years or older
- are 55 years or older with heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or chronic respiratory disease (such as asthma)
- 12 years or older with a weak immune system, obesity, type 1 or 2 diabetes, or chronic kidney disease
Your child age 12 to 17 is eligible for treatments if they:
- are obese
- regularly use medical technology (such as a feeding tube)
- have a developmental condition (such as cerebral palsy)
- have sickle cell disease
- have heart disease
- or have a chronic respiratory problem that requires daily medication.
Ready to learn more?
Learn more about Monoclonal Antibody treatments at this Health and Human Services webpage. If you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19 and interested in utilizing this treatment, contact your doctor, or the Combat COVID Monoclonal Antibodies Call Center at 1-877-332-6585.
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