Monoclonal Antibodies Offer the First Disease-altering Therapy Against COVID-19

nurse holding vial of monoclonal antibodiesUntil more people get vaccinated for COVID-19, prevention and effective treatments are the next best bets against the disease. Tops on the list are monoclonal antibodies, which are being used to treat patients at Monmouth Medical Center.

This treatment essentially provides the immune response that your body normally develops over time when you're exposed to the virus, but does so much more rapidly. The goal is to reduce the amount of virus that's available to enter a cell where it can replicate. The hoped-for result: a milder case of the disease and a lower risk of hospitalization.

Monmouth Medical Center is a leader in the region for the administration of monoclonal antibody treatment. Patients who are Covid-19 positive and meet certain criteria can be scheduled for monoclonal antibody infusion in the hospital's Emergency Department between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm. Appointments can be made using the “RWJBarnabas Health Connect” app, available on either Google Play Store or the Apple App Store; or make an appointment at Monmouth Medical Center at https://healthconnect.rwjbh.org/HCWeb/Diagnostic/Diagnostic. Patients should bring their Covid-19 positive test and follow the instructions provided on the app.

First introduced in November 2020, monoclonal antibody treatment is recommended for people at high risk of a severe case of COVID and hospitalization. These include people age 65 and older and people over age 55 who have a body mass index greater than 35, underlying cardiovascular disease, hypertension or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other respiratory disorders.

Patients with mild or moderate symptoms are ideal candidates. The earlier these treatments are administered after the onset of symptoms, it’s believed, the better they are at decreasing a patient’s viral load.

If you think you may be eligible for this treatment, contact your health care provider directly for more information. To schedule an appointment for monoclonal antibody treatment, call the Emergency Department at 732-923-7386.