COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A therapy that gives people relief from COVID-19 symptoms and keeps them out of the hospitals is more available than ever on the East Side.
And it’s used in both unvaccinated people and those who’ve been vaccinated but have had breakthrough cases of COVID-19.
“I would say that about 90% of our patients that we infuse with monoclonal antibodies are unvaccinated,” said Dr. Jonathan Parsons of Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. “But we have seen patients recently — more recently — with breakthroughs infections, who are fully vaccinated.”
Monoclonal antibody therapy is created in a lab, and infusions take about 90 minutes.
“We have infused more patients in August and to date in September than we did for the prior six months combined,” said Parsons.
OSU East Hospital has expanded services from 15 people per day, six days a week, to 25 people per day. People older than 65 qualify for the therapy, as well as those with hypertension, diabetes, cancer and sometimes pregnancy.
“Once you come home, you get your infusion completed, you go home,” said Parsons. “Most people have a pretty significant decrease in the level of their symptoms pretty quickly, in 24-48 hours in a lot of cases.
“We’ve also found … these infusions significantly reduce number of hospitalizations of these patients by about 70% in some cases. So overall it gets people’s symptoms relieved quicker, and it keeps people out of the hospital,” Parsons said.
The first step for anyone with COVID is to contact your primary care provider, Parsons said. They will identify whether you’re a candidate for this treatment, or put you in touch with an infusion center.
Walk-in appointments are not available.