top of page

Monoclonal Antibodies for COVID-19 Infection: An Early Treatment That Saves Lives

Monoclonal antibodies is an FDA emergency authorized treatment shown in preliminary studies to reduce hospitalization from COVID-19 by 70% for those at high risk for severe disease.

Since the CDC has issued a warning that some vaccinated people are getting COVID-19 break through infections, anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 with underlying health conditions that place them at high risk for severe disease may benefit from this treatment, regardless of vaccination status.

Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory engineered proteins that prevent the COVID-19 virus from infecting cells. This treatment works best if given soon after symptoms of infection occur. This is why the FDA has only authorized most monoclonal antibody treatments for outpatient care.

Once someone is hospitalized or even placed on oxygen, they usually no longer qualify for this treatment. As a result, early diagnosis of COVID-19 infection and early treatment with monoclonal antibodies, even for those who experience vaccine break through infection, is very important.

The FDA has developed criteria to quality for treatment based on risk for severe disease from COVID-19. Criteria includes all high-risk adults and high-risk children 12 -17 years of age who weigh at least 88 pounds.

Underlying health issues that place someone in the high-risk category include obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, a weakened immune system, older age (over 65 years), or any type of heart or lung disease or injury, including asthma, cystic fibrosis, COPD, high blood pressure, or myocarditis.

Additional criteria for monoclonal antibody treatment include a positive COVID-19 test or contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, and symptoms no longer than 10 days in duration. The earlier the treatment is started, the more effective it will be.

Monoclonal antibody treatment is offered in some hospital emergency rooms and special infusion centers set up for this purpose. It is given intravenously via an infusion lasting 30-60 minutes or can be injected under the skin. There is a one hour observation period after receiving the treatment to watch for side effects, which can include fever, chills, hives, itching, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and flushing, or rare allergic reactions.

Since this is an FDA emergency authorized medication, this means it is still under investigation. So, it is important to read the medication fact sheet to be informed of potential side effects. You can find fact sheets at this link in English and Spanish (

There is no cost for monoclonal antibodies, but some infusion centers charge for administering it. Medicare and many insurance companies will pay this cost, so you may want to check with your health plan for coverage.

If you have signs or symptoms of COVID-19, even if you are vaccinated, get a COVID-19 test right away. It is important to be tested for COVID-19 , even if you think the symptoms might be a cold or the flu, especially if you are at high risk for severe illness, so that you do not miss the window for being able to receive and benefit from monoclonal antibody treatment.

A COVID-19 Rapid Test is a good place to start for diagnosis, since it provides results in minutes, which allows for a quicker response to consider treatment options, including monoclonal antibodies. Since a Rapid Test may not pick up some cases of COVID, however, if the test comes back negative, doing a PCR test is a good idea, since it helps to identify cases missed by the Rapid Test.

If you test positive for COVID-19 and have an underlying health condition that places you at high risk for severe illness, call your doctor right away to ask about monoclonal antibody treatment.

If you don’t have a doctor, call the Combat COVID Monoclonal Antibodies Call Center at 1-877-332-6585 (English) or 1-877-366-0310 (Spanish) for help.

You can also use this online tool to locate infusion centers near you and can call the infusion center to get more information about how to access treatment. (

Knowledge is power. For individual consultation to help improve your health and wellness, please see my services page on my website:

Additional Sources and Research Studies:

56 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page