ANNAPOLIS, Md. — As most residents wait for the chance to be vaccinated, Maryland's Department of Health is encouraging physicians and patients to consider monoclonal antibody treatment to help fend off COVID-19.
Although the treatment is laboratory-made and does not actually contain the virus that causes COVID-19, it mimics natural antibodies which have been found to reduce symptoms and hospitalization rates of people who have tested positive.
A new online portal is now available for physicians to refer COVID-19 patients for monoclonal antibody treatment at several locations throughout Maryland.
The treatment was granted emergency use authorization last November by the FDA.
It's available for residents who are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus, including those 65 years and older and with chronic medical conditions.
Treatment normally consists of a one-hour intravenous infusion, followed by another hour of observation.
Here are some places in Maryland offering the treatment.
● Adventist HealthCare Takoma Park
● Atlantic General Hospital
● Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital
● MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center
● Meritus Health
● Peninsula Regional-Tidal Health
● UPMC Western Maryland
Several dialysis centers are now offering the treatment as well.
Under a special arrangement with the federal government, monoclonal antibody treatment medications is available to patients for free. However some costs associated with administering the medications may not be covered by insurance.