BOISE, Idaho — A new monoclonal antibody treatment center is now open in Boise, making the treatment widely available to residents in the Treasure Valley.
Direct COVID Care (DCC) can treat up to 100 people every week, including pediatric and adult patients age 12 and older.
DCC Medical Director Ryan Williams said monoclonal antibody treatment will benefit COVID-19 patients and healthcare workers.
"Reducing the disease burden with the number of COVID-associated hospitalizations in our community is the key to moving out of Crisis Standards of Care," Williams said. " [It] will benefit our entire community by allowing a return to normalcy in access to subspecialty care and elective procedures."
Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced plans for the state to open three monoclonal antibody treatment facilities to help treat COVID-19 in September; one in Eastern Idaho, one in North Idaho, and one in the Treasure Valley.
Idaho medical experts said the Treasure Valley facility was taking longer than expected to open to the public, but it is now open to those who are eligible for the treatment.
Monoclonal antibodies work by attaching to the virus and preventing the virus from infecting cells; however, the treatment only works if a person contracts COVID-19 or if they are immunocompromised and exposed to the virus.
The treatment is given through an intravenous infusion or an IV administered by a nurse, but can also be given as an injection under the skin. The whole point of the treatment is to keep people out of the hospital.
Monoclonal antibodies have also been shown to reduce COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations by as much as 70% if administered within ten days of the onset of symptoms, according to Central District Health (CDH) Medical Director Dr. Sandy Mudge.
"The treatment can also be used as post-exposure prophylaxis after exposure to COVID-19 in people who are at risk of severe progression of the illness," Mudge said.
While monoclonal antibodies are not currently FDA approved for the treatment of COVID-19, they have been given emergency use authorization. However, Idaho medical experts maintain this treatment is not a substitute for the COVID-19 vaccine.
The treatment center is located at 3115 Sycamore Drive in Boise. To make an appointment for treatment:
- You must have a provider referral to receive treatment. If you do not have a primary care provider, contact DCC at (208) 850-7886 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The treatment is free for patients.
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