The Louisiana Department of Health is now operating six federally supported monoclonal antibody therapy (mAb) treatment sites and is on track to open seven additional sites through the end of next week.
Each site will be open 7 days a week from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. with an ability to serve more than 150 patients daily per site.
A Federally supported mAb site operating as of Sept. 17 is Burton Coliseum, located at 7001 Gulf Hwy., in Lake Charles.
An additional site is set to open on Thursday, Sept. 23, at the DeQuincy Ball Field.
Louisiana received its first allocation of monoclonal antibodies on Nov. 12, 2020 and began administering to positive, symptomatic patients immediately.
In addition to the federally-supported sites, there are 143 providers statewide that had received mAb shipments they could administer as treatment.
Monoclonal antibodies are man-made antibodies produced in a laboratory that can mimic the human immune system response to infection. mAbs are designed to block viral attachment and entry into human cells, thus neutralizing the virus that causes COVID-19.
Patients need to be referred by their doctor or other healthcare provider to a facility that offers mAb therapy such as a hospital or an infusion center. Those without a provider can be referred by an urgent care, community clinic, emergency department, hospitalist, etc.
Patients with a positive COVID-19 viral test should speak with their healthcare provider to determine whether they are eligible for mAb treatment and to discuss potential benefits and side effects.
Monoclonal antibody treatments may be used for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients who are within 10 days of the start of their symptoms, at least 12 years of age or older and weigh at least 40 kilograms (88 pounds), and are at a high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization.
The federal government has developed a searchable national map that show locations that have received shipments of monoclonal antibody therapeutics under FDA EUA authority, within the past several weeks. The scalable map is at https://protect-public.hhs.gov/pages/therapeutics-distribution.
A call center is available to answer questions and provide information related to mAb therapeutic treatments at 1-877-332-6585 (English language) or 1-877-366-0310 (Spanish language).
In order to be eligible for mAb treatment, the patient must meet all of the following:
1. Have a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 (molecular/PCR or antigen)
2. Are within 10 days of the start of their symptoms
3. Are at least 12 years of age or older and weigh at least 40 kilograms (88 pounds)
4. Are at a high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization
5. Patients are reminded the procedure takes at least two hours. This includes 30 minutes to receive the infusion, then 1.5 hours of observation.
For patients who are taking medications, they should take their regular doses before treatment. It is also OK to eat before the treatment.
For more information about mAbs, visit https://ldh.la.gov/index.cfm/page/4251.