Press release from the Mountain Area Health Education Center:
The Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) is now offering monoclonal antibody infusion with sotrovimab at its Biltmore campus for eligible patients with a physician referral. This investigational therapy has been given an emergency authorization by the Food and Drug Administration for use in patients 12 years and older who are early in the course of COVID-19 illness and at risk for progression to a severe form of the disease and/or hospitalization.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) has become the dominant strain of COVID-19 in many parts of the United States. This variant has been detected in North Carolina. Studies indicate that some monoclonal antibodies are less effective against the Omicron variant; however, sotrovimab appears to retain effectiveness against this new highly contagious variant.
“We are honored to serve the community by offering the most up-to-date care for COVID-19,” shares infusion nurse practitioner Keelan Dorn. “The move to sotrovimab ensures we can continue to provide effective monoclonal antibody infusions as the Omicron variant becomes dominant. As always, it is important for symptomatic individuals to get tested early for COVID-19 and, if positive, talk to their healthcare provider to see if an infusion may be indicated to prevent severe illness and hospitalization.”
Individuals at higher risk for severe illness include those 80 years of age and older regardless of vaccination status, unvaccinated adults 70 years of age and older, unvaccinated adults who are overweight, and individuals who have chronic lung diseases or immunocompromising conditions. These individuals should consult with their primary care provider after testing positive for COVID-19 to discuss whether infusion therapy may be appropriate.
A list of qualifying criteria can be found on MAHEC’s website. Sotrovimab is not authorized for use in patients who are hospitalized or require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19. The infusion can be completed in one visit and takes approximately one hour. To learn more about monoclonal antibody infusion and to download a referral form, visit www.mahec.net/infusion.