Monoclonal Antibodies for COVID-19: 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Why should I seriously consider monoclonal antibody treatment? 

A:   If you are high risk, develop mild to moderate symptoms, and test positive for COVID-19, early treatment with monoclonal antibodies may prevent progressing to more severe disease and hospitalization. 

Q: Why am I eligible for the treatment? 

A: Monoclonal antibody treatments may help people who:

• Have mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19, and

• Have tested positive for COVID-19, and

• Have had symptoms for 10 days or less, and

• Are at high risk of getting more serious symptoms

Q: What are monoclonal antibodies? 

A: Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful viruses like SARS-CoV-2. Monoclonal antibodies attack the virus and reduce its ability to spread through your body.

Q: How do I get treatment? 

A: If you have had symptoms for 10 days or less and have tested positive for COVID-19 and you are high risk, I can refer you to receive treatment. The treatment is given by intravenous infusion. The infusion itself will take from about 15 minutes to an hour, and you will be at an infusion facility for two to three hours.

Q: Where can I get treatment? 

A: Treatment is administered via an intravenous infusion by a trained professional at your local infusion site. In Howell County and the surrounding area, Ozarks Healthcare is your local infusion site, located at 1100 Kentucky Ave., West Plains, MO.

Q: Are there side effects? 

A: Some treatment-related side effects are possible. For those who receive an infusion, note that an infusion of any medicine may cause brief pain, bleeding, bruising of the skin, soreness, swelling, fever, chills, tiredness, nausea, headache, and possible infection at the infusion site. Hypersensitivity and allergic reactions may happen during and after an antibody infusion. Trained healthcare staff will monitor you for allergic reactions. While side effects are possible, antibody treatments do not contain any live virus. There is no risk you will get COVID-19 from monoclonal antibody treatments.

Q: What are the chances it will work? 

A: Outpatient data from clinical trials showed that high-risk COVID-19 patients treated with monoclonal antibodies had a 70% reduction in relative risk of progression to severe disease or hospitalization compared to patients who did not receive monoclonal antibodies. The treatment is most effective when given shortly after symptoms appear, so it is important to get tested and treated as soon as possible. 

Q: If I receive monoclonal antibodies, do I have to isolate? 

A: Yes. You must still follow isolation requirements to protect yourself and others.

Q: Can I still get the COVID-19 vaccine if I receive monoclonal antibodies? 

A: Yes, but you should wait 90 days after treatment to get the vaccine. 

Q: If I have received the vaccine, can I still receive the monoclonal antibody treatment? 

A: Yes. Outpatients who develop COVID-19 infection despite vaccination may receive monoclonal antibody treatment.

Q: How much will the treatment cost? Is it covered by insurance? 

A: Because the federal government has purchased a supply of some monoclonal antibody treatments, there may be no cost to the patient for the monoclonal antibody product itself. Depending on your insurance coverage, you may or may not need to pay for a provider to administer the infusion. For many, infusion administration will have no cost.

In particular:

• Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are covering all infusion costs. 

• For patients covered under commercial insurance plans, costs of infusion may vary, but many large insurers are waiving all costs. Check with your health plan.

• If you do not have insurance, you should ask the treatment facility if there are charges.