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Doctors are relying more on monoclonal antibodies to fight COVID — but not everyone can receive the therapy

Doctors throughout the United States are relying more on monoclonal antibodies as a strong weapon in opposition to COVID-19. The lab-grown proteins assist the physique goal and eradicate a COVID an infection.

According to  Dr. Thomas Gullatt, the chief medical officer at St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe, Louisiana, they’ve change into considered one of the middle’s best therapies. “It’s done a great job of helping high-risk patients stay out of the hospital,” Gullatt advised CBS News’ David Begnaud.

The therapy is turning into more obtainable at hospitals and clinics throughout the nation. Since July 1, Gullatt mentioned St. Francis Medical Center has given about 1,700 doses. But not everyone can receive the therapy — it is just administered after an infection, inside ten days of the first signs, and earlier than they get too extreme.

Gullatt mentioned that if a affected person is “having profound oxygen requirements, continued high-grade fevers and dehydration,” they are thought of too sick to receive the monoclonal antibodies.

The newest figures present that fewer COVID sufferers are being admitted into Lousiana hospitals as in contrast to two weeks in the past. But there are additionally more than 3,000 nonetheless in the hospital with COVID.

One of these sufferers is 42-year-old Scotty Johnson. He acquired the monoclonal antibodies with a one-time intravenous infusion three weeks in the past as COVID was attacking his physique.

“It feels like somebody’s choking you. You start coughing, but nothing comes out,” mentioned Johnson.

He and his spouse, Meg, each acquired the antibody therapies at the similar time. For Scotty, he began to really feel higher inside days.

“I just really started feeling good about three or four days ago, probably, but I feel like I’m like 90% now,” Johnson mentioned.

Scotty was unvaccinated, whereas Meg acquired a COVID vaccine. Johnson mentioned his spouse suffered no signs and was again to regular day-to-day actions shortly after.

“My wife got the antibody treatment on Thursday. I tested positive on Friday. On Saturday, she was back up cleaning the house and doing dishes and like it never even bothered her,” Johnson recalled.

While antibody therapies can be very efficient, docs say they’re not an alternative to vaccines —one thing Johnson mentioned he has now discovered first-hand. He mentioned he now plans on getting vaccinated.

“My wife was vaccinated. I wasn’t. She stayed sick for two days. I stayed sick for ten, and it was miserable. Absolutely miserable,” he mentioned.

Monoclonal antibodies usually value more than $1,000 per dose, but governments purchase them and ship them to hospitals and clinics so individuals can get them at little to no value. However, provide is restricted, and relying on the location, it would not be that straightforward to get.