Salem Regional Offers Antibody Therapy for COVID-19

SALEM, Ohio – Salem Regional Medical Center is now offering antibody therapy for those diagnosed with COVID-19, a treatment that can reduce the possibility of developing a severe case of the disease.

The treatment, available to those at high risk of developing severe symptoms or of being hospitalized, is administered through outpatient IV infusion or injection.

“Antibody therapy is a potential treatment option for those who are at high risk of becoming very sick from the virus and who have mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19,” explained Dr. Austin Fredrickson, an internal medicine physician at Salem Regional, in a statement. “The antibodies mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off the virus. The goal of this antibody therapy is to help stop progression of the virus in those with mild to moderate symptoms to prevent a hospital stay. Potential candidates are those who are not sick enough to be hospitalized, but have pre-existing health conditions that may make them more likely to experience serious health complications from COVID-19.”

The antibody treatment, approved through emergency use authorization through the FDA, is also available to people who are not fully vaccinated or are unable to have an adequate immune response to the vaccination and those who have a high risk of exposure to COVID-19 because of infection of others in the same institutional setting, such as in nursing homes and jails.

According to the manufacturer, the therapy should be administered as soon as possible after a positive COVID-19 test and within 10 days of the start of symptoms. 

A physician referral is required to get the antibody therapy.

The treatment is not available to people already hospitalized with COVID-19 or who require oxygen therapy because of the virus.

“This treatment does not replace the need for vaccination. Vaccines are still the first line of defense for fighting COVID-19,” Fredrickson said. “However, we have used antibody therapy successfully to help our local patients whether or not they were fully vaccinated.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.