CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia plans to begin utilizing monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19 more frequently, following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recent emergency authorization of the treatment.
West Virginia has 1,400 doses of monoclonal antibodies on-hand, with 600 more doses expected to arrive shortly.
Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off viruses.
“If you’re diagnosed with COVID-19, and if your doctor believes you can have this drug, early on in your disease, you can speak with your doctor or go to one of the hospitals if they have this drug available,” said Dr. Ayne Amjad, State Health Officer. “There is a certain criteria you do have to meet to qualify for this drug. One of them is if you’re above 65 years old, have chronic kidney disease, diabetes, if you meet a certain weight criteria, or if you’re above 55 and have cardiovascular disease.
“This drug is utilized in nursing homes a lot. We have been using it in several nursing homes already over the last couple of weeks,” Dr. Amjad continued. “It has been known to improve mortality rates in nursing homes and across the emergency room population. It is not used in hospital settings, it’s used in outpatient settings.”