MCPH OPENING MONOCLONAL ANTIBODY THERAPY TREATMENT CLINIC
All qualifying residents are able to schedule an appointment for the no-cost treatment through Mesa County Public Health; a doctors’ referral is no longer required.
Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) in conjunction with Family Health West is opening a Monoclonal Antibody Therapy Treatment Clinic in Fruita. The treatments are available to people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have mild to moderate symptoms, or have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and are at high risk of developing severe illness.
Monoclonal antibodies act as a substitute for the natural antibodies your body produces after being vaccinated or after being exposed to COVID-19 and recovering. At this clinic, they will be administered through four injections under the skin. The injections are given during the same appointment. Patients can plan on about 15 minutes for the injections, followed by one hour of monitoring. The treatment has been given Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.
“These treatments are another way we’re working to combat COVID in our community. For very vulnerable patients at times of high community transmission these treatments are another option to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death,” Jeff Kuhr, Director of Public Health for Mesa County said. “We continue to ask for our community’s support to take measures to control community spread as MCPH works to fight this virus and the post-holiday surge we’re expecting,” Kuhr added.
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine and practicing layered prevention such as wearing a mask in public indoor settings, social distancing, staying home when sick, avoiding indoor crowds, and frequently washing your hands is the best way to avoid becoming seriously ill with COVID-19. Those who are at a higher risk of developing severe illness can now add another layer of protection.
The treatment will also be available to those who have come in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 who are at high risk of developing severe illness, and who are not fully vaccinated or not expected to adequately respond to COVID-19 vaccination (for example those with immunocompromising conditions).
People at risk of getting very sick include:
- People who are 65 years old or older.
- People who are obese or overweight. This includes adults with a BMI of 25 or more. It also includes children aged 12 to 17 who have a BMI in the 85th percentile or higher for their age and gender based on CDC growth charts.
- Pregnant people.
- People with certain underlying medical conditions. Patients will need to self-attest to having a high-risk condition.
This treatment is meant to be taken within 10 days of having COVID-19 symptoms and requires an appointment. Patients who are using supplemental oxygen for COVID-19 do not qualify for this treatment. Testing at the first sign of symptoms is critically important to receive treatment at the appropriate time. Community testing options can be found here.
The clinic is scheduled to open on December 7 and is available to residents at no cost, with or without a physician referral. The facility will be able to administer approximately 50 treatments per day with the ability to expand to 100 per day depending on the availability of injections.
The infusion center will be located at 401 Kokopelli Blvd. and will be open by appointment Thursday through Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The center will be closed on Wednesdays.
Appointments can be scheduled through Mesa County Public Health here.