Yakima-area health care providers are providing monoclonal antibody therapy to some COVID patients.
Monoclonal antibody therapy uses lab-made antibodies that mimic the ones the immune system would make to fight an infection. For COVID-19, the treatment is designed to stop the virus from attaching to and entering human cells, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Patients receive the dose all at once.
Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital began more widely offering the treatment in late September, staff said. The treatment is available at its COVID Assessment & Treatment Clinic.
Monoclonal antibody therapy is also available at Astria Toppenish Hospital based on patient load and staffing, according to Astria spokesperson Mike Paoli. It is not currently offered at Astria Sunnyside Hospital.
During a Yakima Health District health board meeting this week, Director of Disease Control Melissa Sixberry mentioned additional locations where the treatment is available. Summitview Urgent Care has a limited number of doses available. Landmark Care and Rehabilitation, a local nursing home, also offers the treatment to COVID patients.
Sixberry said in the meeting that she asked the state Department of Health for a list of all local facilities that receive monoclonal antibody treatments.
Patients are considered eligible based on the severity of their symptoms, their age and if they have other underlying health conditions, according to the National Institutes of Health’s guidelines.
Health officials say the best thing people can do to fight off COVID-19 and reduce its severity is to get a COVID vaccine.