Using Antibodies

February 1, 2021

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Anchor lead: While some people with early Covid-19 may respond to antibody treatment there are barriers, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Antibody treatments may help some people with Covid-19 avoid progression of the disease and subsequent hospitalization, but there are several steps that must be taken before antibodies can be used. That’s according to Brian Garibaldi, a critical care medicine expert at Johns Hopkins.

Garibaldi: One of the challenges is that in many parts of the country it can take a while to get a test back, so by the time you get your symptoms, then you get your test, then you get your results back, then these are resource intensive therapies because you have to place an IV, you have to give an infusion over at least an hour and then you have to watch someone afterwards to make sure that they tolerated it okay. These are really hard to ramp up for many health systems, and so some health systems have said we are overwhelmed right now with simply taking care of patients who are sick enough to be in the hospital, and we have to distribute vaccine, we don’t have the staff, we can’t do it.  :30

Garibaldi says it is well worth asking about the availability of antibody treatment if you have early disease or known exposures. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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