JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. – Monoclonal antibody infusion treatment will soon be set up at hospitals throughout the greater St. Louis Region, Jefferson County, and four other counties across the state.
“I mean this is great, it’s something we can actually do in our community now which we couldn’t do before,” said Dr. Mercy Hospital Jefferson Chief Medical Officer Dr. Karehik Iyer.
The treatments will last for 30 days for the high-risk patients chosen. Which people make the best patients depends on the risk and is determined by mercy hospital Jefferson physicians and other doctors from the various sites.
“This comes at a very good time, this help is very much needed,” said Dr. Iyer.
Jefferson County is currently in the red zone with 529 new COVID-19 cases in the last week. Of these, 86.39% of patients were unvaccinated.
Governor Parson allocates 15 million dollars for the treatments, their staff, and equipment.
“We got to deal with it with the vaccine, with the unvaccinated with school starting,” said Governor Parson.
Monoclonal antibodies are a man-made cocktail infusion of antibodies that are proven to help fight off COVID-19, giving people with high risk an advantage if infected.
“The effects of the vaccine are long-lasting, but it takes time to build that immunity,” Dr. Iyer said. “Here we’re actually just creating the antibodies and just giving them to you, and you kind of skip that step where you create those antibodies.”
Mercy Jefferson staff will administer the treatment on-site. The program will also expand into the greater St. Louis region.
The St. Louis Pandemic Task Force will choose two locations. Neither has been announced yet. Health officials expect to help upwards of 4,000 patients once all sites start the process.
“The emphasis on the vaccine is still first-line and anything that comes after it is a second-line thing,” Dr. Iyer said.
Still urging those to get vaccinated, but hopeful this treatment will help those most at risk avoid the hospital.