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Kentucky plans to expand access to monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 12:21 AM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WAVE) - Extra effort is being made to expand treatment for COVID-19 in Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear said in his weekly update on Monday.

There has been success with monoclonal antibody treatments to prevent severe cases, the governor said. So far, 139 Kentucky hospitals have received shipments of the treatment, and the state wants to make it easy for more people to access so their cases don’t get worse.

Dr. Steven Stack reported that Kentucky only used the treatment 206 times at the start of July, but numbers show it has now been used at least 3,642 times.

One of the Kentuckians approved for the treatment is Michele Sawyers, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. After a virtual visit with her doctor Monday, she said she will receive the infusion this week.

The monoclonal antibody treatment must be administered within 10 days of a patient experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and it is only available to those who are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Stack clarified the treatment is not a substitute for the vaccine.

“They give you a temporary, so less than 90 days, and passive, meaning your body isn’t learning how to be more effective, response,” he explained. “It’s a temporary immune boost to help people who are already sick hopefully have a more mild disease.”

Beshear’s team has not yet released a list of sites administering the treatment.

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