Monoclonal Antibodies - Information for the Public
When a virus enters your body (e.g. SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19) and begins to reproduce, your body has a system that is made to find things that could make you sick and fight them off. The body does this with cells that are part of the immune system that create antibodies, or proteins that help recognize viruses and bacteria for immune cells to destroy. But this response can take some time and some people’s systems are better at this than others. There are few ways to help the immune system, sometimes by teaching it to fight a virus ahead of time (like vaccines) and sometimes by providing the system with antibodies that have already been made. Monoclonal Antibodies (mAbs) are manufactured antibodies that are similar to those found in patients who recovered from COVID-19. These antibodies can reduce the amount of virus in your body and possibly reduce the symptoms associated with COVID-19. Monoclonal Antibodies do not contain the virus that causes COVID-19.
As part of the United States government’s effort in advancing therapeutics to “attack the virus”, mAbs have been granted emergency use authorization (EUA) based on their ability to decrease viral load and reduce likelihood of disease progression and hospitalization. Currently the following EUA-approved mAb products are available:
Patient Eligibility and Administration
Available mAbs are to be administered by healthcare professionals and require a 1-hour observation period following administration.
Non-hospitalized patients with mild to moderate symptoms with less than 10 days since symptom onset may be eligible to receive available mAb treatments if they have high-risk factors, including:
- Age ≥65 years,
- Obesity or being overweight (for example, adults with BMI >25 kg/m2, or if 12 to 17 years of age, have BMI ≥85th percentile for their age and gender based on CDC growth charts, https://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/clinical_charts.htm)
- High risk conditions including diabetes, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, and others
Eligibility will be determined by healthcare professionals.
If you have questions about these therapies, please contact your healthcare provider.