MCHC Offers Monoclonal Antibody Therapy for COVID
MCHC News Release
Molokai Community Health Center (MCHC) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is pleased to announce access to monoclonal antibody therapy (mAb), Regeneron, at its facility. This one-time therapy is highly effective in preventing severe disease and hospitalization caused by COVID-19.
In high-risk COVID-19 patients, this medication can be given up to 10 days after the first onset of symptoms or positive test. The earlier in infection Regeneron is given, the more effective it is likely to be. This medication is also approved to be used by high-risk patients who have not tested positive for COVID-19 as soon as possible after a known COVID exposure.
The treatment is given by a one-time injection and authorized for individuals 12 and over with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are not hospitalized, don’t need supplemental oxygen and meet criteria. Receiving treatment earlier in the course of illness may help prevent the development of more severe symptoms that would otherwise require hospitalization. Criteria for therapy are broad and many people are likely candidates who would benefit.
“We are continuing to see our people test positive for COVID-19 across the state at record-breaking rate day by day,” said Helen Kekalia Wescoatt, MCHC CEO. “Molokai is one of the most vulnerable areas in our State right now and is at great risk of severe hospitalization and even death from this virus. We have something here and now for our patients and families who are directly impacted. We encourage high-risk patients who test positive for COVID-19 to seek out monoclonal antibody treatment.”
Approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) under Emergency Use Authorization, this treatment is effective but not a replacement for vaccination. There is no cost to the patient and treatment is offered regardless of patient status or health insurance.
“With hospitals reaching crisis standards of care, every measure needs to be taken to prevent development of severe COVID which then leads to hospital admission,” said Scott R. Link, MD, MCHC chief medical officer. “Our best tool to prevent COVID remains vaccination and this needs to continue to be the number one priority of everyone. However, with a large number of unvaccinated people remaining, and with the threat of break through infections in vaccinated individuals, effective treatment of COVID in its early stages is also a top priority. Monoclonal antibody therapy is safe, effective and is another essential tool in the treatment of this potentially deadly disease.”
For more information or to be screened to see if you are a candidate for monoclonal therapy, please call MCHC at 808-553-5038, Ext.1.