Q: What is monoclonal antibody treatment, and do we have it on Maui?
Monoclonal antibody therapy has been approved by the FDA as a treatment for mild to moderate COVID-19. If given early in the illness, it has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of hospitalization and death. It can reduce risk of hospitalization by 70%. Currently, this treatment is authorized for people with COVID-19 who are considered at higher risk for severe disease. Over 700,000 people across the country received this treatment in August during the Delta variant surge.
Monoclonal antibodies are artificial antibodies made in a lab. They mimic the antibodies produced naturally by the body’s immune system. They work by binding to the virus and preventing it from replicating and infecting more cells. Monoclonal antibodies have been used for decades to treat a variety of illnesses, from rheumatoid arthritis to cancer.
Maui Health is currently offering a monoclonal antibody therapy called Regeneron. This treatment is available by physician referral and is done as an outpatient procedure. If you or a loved one is diagnosed with COVID, talk with your doctor about whether you would qualify for this treatment The treatment must be given in the first 10 days of illness. So far Maui Memorial Medical Center has treated close to 100 patients, and we are looking at ways to expand the number of patients we can provide this treatment to on Maui. For more information, visit mauihealth.org/MAB. If you are a physician on Maui, visit the Maui Health Physician Portal or email to MHS-Covidmabemail@example.com for more information.