SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A new milestone for Baystate Medical Center in the fight against COVID-19.

Baystate Medical has treated its 500th patient with a monoclonal antibody treatment. The goal of this FDA-authorized treatment is to help prevent hospitalizations, reduce viral loads, and lessen symptom severity, especially for those who are not vaccinated due to high-risk factors and conditions that won’t allow for vaccination.

The antibody treatment has sparked some conversation as some turn to this approach instead of vaccination. A doctor with Baystate Medical told 22News, vaccination should be your first choice and to not solely rely on this treatment.

“As you know, Hampden County lacks behind in terms of vaccination status and so I think that this is something that is very important in terms of treating those people who end up having COVID-19 to avoid hospitalization,” said Dr. Armando Paez.

For more information on the monoclonal antibody treatment and vaccination, click here.