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Vaccinated Coeur d'Alene woman shares experience with monoclonal antibody therapy for COVID-19

Barb Chestine, a Coeur d'Alene local, said the Regeneron therapy was worth it in addition to being fully vaccinated to fight COVID-19.
Credit: KREM 2
Monoclonal antibody treatment center opens in North Idaho

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — A Coeur d’Alene woman said Friday that receiving Regeneron therapy helped her recover from COVID-19.

Coeur d’Alene local, Barb Chestine, said she was thrilled with the results of the monoclonal antibody treatment she received from Heritage Health after being diagnosed with COVID-19. The treatment, REGENCOV, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under its emergency use authorization. The treatment is a combination monoclonal antibody therapy where monoclonal antibodies work by targeting the coronavirus spike protein, blocking the virus from entering your body’s cells and stopping the infection from spreading.

“I would not want to have this [COVID-19] without being vaccinated,” Chestine said. “The Regeneron boosted my immune system, so it is well worth it. Both my husband and I have had Regeneron and we would not hesitate to take it again.”

Chestine said that she believes being vaccinated against COVID-19 helped lessen her symptoms.

Chief Clinical Officer for Heritage Health, Dr. Peter Purrington, said that Heritage Health has provided 100 monoclonal antibody treatments to patients.

“This therapy gives us another tool in the fight against COVID-19 and it helps ease the burden on our hospital, which is extremely busy with COVID-19 cases,” Purrington said. “The antibody treatment is not a cure for COVID-19 nor a replacement for vaccination. If you have mild to moderate COVID symptoms and a positive COVID test, contact your primary care provider to see if monoclonal antibody treatment is right for you.”

Purrington said the therapy has very few side effects and that the availability of the treatment comes at a critical time in North Idaho as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

To receive a REGENCOV therapy treatment, patients must have a positive COVID-19 test and a referral from a primary care provider licensed in Idaho. The antibody treatment is free to patients.

“Everybody needs to be vaccinated,” Chestine said. “We have to fight the spread of this virus.”

To schedule an appointment at Heritage Health, you can call (208) 620-5250.

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