San Diego County has room in monoclonal antibody treatment program
Local health officials reminded San Diegans Tuesday that monoclonal antibody treatment is available for people at high risk of serious illness from COVID-19.
The first Monoclonal Antibody Regional Center opened in the region last year. Since then, more than 8,100 patients have been treated in 10 outpatient settings, six of which remain open, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.
The centers can treat people with sotrovimab, a monoclonal antibody touted as effective against the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
"Despite the thousands of new COVID-19 cases being reported, we have a lot of capacity for monoclonal antibody treatment," said Dr. Jennifer Tuteur, the county's deputy chief medical officer. "Vaccination is the best protection we have against COVID-19, but if people get sick, we want all high-risk people to know they may be eligible for treatment, and there are several options throughout the county to serve them."
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These monoclonal antibody therapies are used to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and children 12 years and older.
According to the county, monoclonal antibody treatment significantly reduces hospital visits and death in COVID-19 patients, if administered within 10 days of the onset of symptoms.
The treatment is available at no cost regardless of health insurance or immigration status, and a doctor's referral is not required. The intravenous treatment takes less than an hour.
The county says you may be eligible for treatment if you:
- Tested positive for COVID-19; and
- have symptoms of COVID-19, but not for more than 10 days; and
- are at high risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19.
Patients or providers can call 619-685-2500 to schedule an appointment. More information is also available at COVIDtreatment@sdcounty.ca.gov.