Monoclonal antibody therapy: Is it right for you?

September 9, 2021 Swedish Health Team

Many people in our community who have received a positive COVID-19 test are symptomatic and at risk of becoming severely ill but are not sure what their next step should be. Monoclonal antibody therapy (MAB), authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, given at the early onset of symptoms can significantly reduce the risk of needing hospitalization. The treatment may also shorten the duration of the symptoms. 

MAB therapy can be extremely effective, but it’s not a replacement for getting the vaccine. We highly encourage all eligible people in our community to get vaccinated.  

A physician referral is required to obtain an appointment to receive this treatment. Learn more in the FAQ below.   

What are antibodies? 

Antibodies are proteins that exist in our bodies as part of our immune system to recognize and defend against harmful viruses and bacteria. Monoclonal antibodies used in this setting are special neutralizing antibodies that attach to a specific protein and prevents the virus from attaching to or entering cells. This can slow viral spread within the body, decrease symptoms and/or prevent serious disease. 

Who qualifies for the MAB therapy? 

MAB therapy is indicated for adults and children (12 years of age and older) who: 

  • are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19 as determined by your provider; and
  • have a positive COVID-19 test (it needs to be a PCR test not a rapid antigen test) and have not been admitted to the hospital; and 
  • have had a recent onset of mild to moderate symptoms.

How do I get this therapy/treatment? 

Operated by hospital staff and by appointment only, Swedish’s Universal Response Clinics are partnering with primary care providers to arrange appointments. Please reach out to your primary care provider to receive a referral.   

What does it cost?  

The medicine is free if provided by the Federal Government to each state; however, there may be an administration fee if an insurance company is not covering a patient’s cost share for the therapy.

Where can I learn more? 

Please review this fact sheet 

Additional resources

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