Minnesota expands access to COVID antibody treatment

Antibody Treatment To Fight Covid-19
Registered nurse Janet Gilleran prepares to treat coronavirus patient Mike Mokler with Bamlanivimab, a monoclonal antibody, at Tufts Medical Center in Boston on Dec. 31, 2020.
Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

More Minnesotans will have access to monoclonal antibody treatment to stave off hospitalization resulting from a COVID-19 infection. This announcement comes as capacity at Minnesota hospitals reaches record levels, and case counts remain high.

Gov. Tim Walz announced a 50 percent capacity increase for this treatment in the Twin Cities and further options in greater Minnesota, too. The monoclonal antibody clinic in St. Paul will expand its hours, and M Health Fairview will add more appointments.

Monoclonal antibodies are an outpatient infusion that are most effective within 10 days for people with mild to moderate COVID symptoms. The treatment is given to those who are at high risk of hospitalization or death from the virus.

Signups for treatment are through a state-run website, the Minnesota Resource Allocation Platform.

A statement from the governor’s office says treatments are occurring at around 2,000 doses a week since early October. Around 2,600 doses of monoclonal antibodies were dispensed Nov. 10 - 16.

The state is also requesting additional support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to administer the treatment in central Minnesota.

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