HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Three new monoclonal antibody treatment sites are opening, including one in Holyoke.
The state is deploying three additional mobile units for monoclonal antibody treatment for high-risk individuals who have been exposed to or have COVID-19. Holyoke and Fall River began administering monoclonal antibody treatment (mAb) to patients on November 22, Everett will begin on December 3.
The 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.
These new clinics have the capacity to treat a combined 500 patients per week with therapies that have shown to be effective in reducing severity of disease and keeping COVID-19-positive individuals from being hospitalized. Referral from a health care provider is required for treatment at no cost to the patient and offered regardless of immigration status or health insurance.
Monoclonal antibodies mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off viruses with a single intravenous infusion treatment. Eligible patients that are COVID-positive or exposed patients age 12 and older at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness can receive this treatment at sites across Massachusetts.
“These mobile sites enable individuals with early COVID-19 or who have been exposed to COVID-19 to be treated quickly and safely with monoclonal antibody infusion,” said Acting Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke. “While the best protection against COVID-19 is vaccination, these therapies can help prevent hospitalization and severe illness for infected or exposed high-risk individuals. People with questions about whether this treatment is right for them should discuss it with their healthcare provider.”
The temporary clinics are being operated by Gothams, a Texas-based emergency management company with experience supporting commercial, federal, and state facilities in COVID-19 emergency response. Staff will also be providing mAb in locations such as nursing homes, assisted living residences, and congregate care settings.