Monoclonal antibody therapy: Is it right for you?

September 9, 2021 Swedish Health Team

illustration of monoclonal antibody vial and a syringe next to a covid-19 structure.


In this article:

  • Monoclonal antibody therapy is a new approved treatment for COVID-19.

  • The treatment is limited to patients with certain conditions.

  • The therapy is available by referral only at Swedish Universal Response Clinics.

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), which is 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 prevent 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 MAB therapy? 

MAB therapy is indicated for adults and children (18 years of age and older) who meet all of these conditions: 

  • are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19 as determined by their provider

  • have a positive COVID-19 test (antigen and PCR tests are accepted, but home testing is not) and have not been admitted to the hospital

  • 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 

Find a doctor

If you have questions about monoclonal antibody therapy, contact your primary care physician or visit our dedicated COVID-19 page at Swedish for updates. We can accommodate both in-person and virtual visits.

Whether you require an in-person visit or want to consult a doctor virtually, you have options. Swedish Virtual Care connects you face-to-face with a nurse practitioner who can review your symptoms, provide instruction and follow up as needed. If you need to find a doctor, you can use our provider directory.

Join our Patient and Family Advisory Council.

Additional resources 

CDC, FDA recommend third dose of COVID-19 vaccine for immunocompromised patients

FDA formally approves Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine 

What you need to know about booster shots this fall

Find a COVID-19 vaccine appointment near you

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.

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