Jacksonville Memorial Hospital is continuing to offer antibody treatment for Covid-19.
The monoclonal antibody treatment has been offered at Jacksonville Memorial since December of 2020. Chief Medical Officer at Jacksonville Memorial, Dr. Anthony Griffin says like the virus itself, the treatment has had to adapt.
“With the different variants, we’ve had to kind of change the cocktail, as it were, for which one we use. So most recently with the Omicron, it was discovered that the past monoclonal antibodies were not as effective. So they came up with a new one called Sotrovimab.
That’s the one that has been proven more effective against the Omicron variant and is the only one we are using currently, especially the last month. There is such a high demand the supply was very low, so we had a limited supply. But we’ve used it, during the course of January probably one hundred times, and people feel much better after receiving it.
Griffin says the Omicron variant is accounting for approximately 98% of all cases of Covid-19, according to the latest numbers from the CDC.
He says antibody infusion treatment is beneficial for individuals in the most vulnerable of high-risk groups, such as those older than 65, who are obese, have high-risk health conditions, poorly controlled diabetes, or compromised immune systems.
Griffin says the treatments can only be administered intravenously, and Jacksonville Memorial has been providing the infusions since they were first made available and has a lot of experience in providing these treatments for Covid.
“We started in December of 2020, and according to the last figures I saw, we’ve given over six hundred infusions far for monoclonal antibody. This is all done as an outpatient. We have an infusion center set up behind the emergency room. It’s actually a garage that has been reconfigured to allow for these infusions.”
Griffin says the treatment can be used to treat patients age 12 and older, however, anyone seeking the antibody treatment needs to first check with their primary care provider to learn if they qualify.
Griffin says overall things have improved at the hospital with the recent decrease in new cases. He says as of this morning, there was not one patient waiting in the emergency room because there were no beds available in the main hospital.
Griffin says with the stock of monoclonal antibodies outpacing demand across the nation, and Jacksonville Memorial having a limited supply, the treatment does not mean that people should not continue to take precautions against Covid.
“I think you maintain the same precautions. Wear your masks and encourage vaccinations. And I do want to make sure we do plug the hospital staff, the nurses, the techs, everyone. Everyone that is working on the inpatient side of things has just done a tremendous job with this latest surge.”
To find out more information about monoclonal antibody infusion treatment, contact your primary care provider.