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Published August 27, 2021
The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
On August 24th, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee posted on Facebook an announcement regarding monoclonal antibody treatment centers now being available across the state.
Lee’s post stated, “If you become sick with COVID-19, talk to your doctor about a lifesaving treatment widely available in TN. There are 72 monoclonal antibodies centers across our state & this treatment is highly effective if used early.”
On covid19.tn.gov, the Tennessee Health Department explains what monoclonal antibodies are and suggests that interested parties contact their medical providers to see if an infusion is right for them.
According to the TN Health Dept, Monoclonal antibody treatments are laboratory-made proteins that work in your body by attaching to parts of the virus and helping your immune system respond more quickly to fight it.
Not unlike the COVID vaccines, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for two monoclonal antibody COVID-19 treatments for people at high risk of getting very sick.
Casirivimab/imdevimab (REGEN-COV®) by Regeneron is a monoclonal antibody that is authorized for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in non-hospitalized adult and pediatric patients.
According to the health department, early studies suggest some people may benefit from monoclonal antibody treatment soon after they’re infected with COVID-19 and may have a lower risk of hospitalization.
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As with posts about the vaccine, reactions to Lee’s post about the alternative treatment vary among Tennesseans.
Tennessee resident, Beth Burress stated, “It’s so refreshing to hear about other treatments besides vaccines!”
Nashville resident, Kelly Tuttle said, “Many facilities are limiting this to over age 65 patients. This needs to be made available to everyone!”
Spring Hill resident Chris Adams replied to Lee’s post by asking, “How much stock have bought in the company that makes it?”
Another Tennessee resident, Yvonne Gamble warns that, “This treatment is NOT for everyone! Certain criteria HAS to be met, and it is NOT covered by all insurance and is NOT FREE!”
Indeed, the Health Department does state that to receive the monoclonal antibodies infusion, one must first test positive for COVID-19 and meet the following criteria:
- Your COVID-19 test comes back positive
- You are not hospitalized
- You have had mild to moderate symptoms that started less than 10 days ago
- You have certain medical conditions or other factors that may place adults and pediatric patients (age 12-17 years, and weight at least 88 lbs.) at higher rik of progressing to severe infection:
-Age 65 years or older
-Obese or overweight which may include a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or higher for adults or a BMI in the 85th percentile or higher on the growth chart for pediatric patients
-Chronic kidney disease
-Immunosuppressive disease, or on immunosuppressive treatment
-Cardiovascular disease (including congenital heart disease) or hypertension
-Chronic lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),moderate to severe asthma, cystic fibrosis, or pulmonary hypertension)
-Sickle cell disease
Interested parties can search for monoclonal antibodies infusion locations HERE.
About the Author:
Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Directory for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com