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Dr. Fauci reveals when to get antibody treatments to avoid severe COVID-19

COVID-19 vaccine remains important. But are there other treatments?

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Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci responds on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci responds to accusations by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., as he testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 20, 2021.

J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said monoclonal antibody treatments can help reduce hospitalization and death from COVID-19 — if they’re given out earlier.

  • Experts still maintain that getting the COVID-19 vaccine can keep people safe from the novel coronavirus, especially from severe illness and hospitalization.

Fauci on monoclonal antibody treatments

During a press briefing this week, Fauci said using lab-created antibodies to fight off the coronavirus can stop hospitalization, according to the New York Post.

  • The key, he said, is making sure the antibody treatments are given out early.

  • “It is important to emphasize that this must be done early in infection and not wait, of course, until a person is sick enough to be hospitalized,” Fauci said, according to the New York Post.
  • “That’s when you get the best effect. And again, being an underutilized intervention, we want people out there, including physicians as well as potential patients, to realize the advantage of this very effective way of treating early infection.”

Do monoclonal antibody treatments stop severe COVID-19?

Questions about monoclonal antibody treatments have risen recently as COVID-19 patients continue to suffer severe illnesses. Most recently, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis campaigned to expand access and awareness of the treatment, according to WPTV, a news station in West Palm Beach, Florida.

  • “This is just one thing we’re doing,” DeSantis said, according to WPTV. “I do think that this is the best thing that we can do to reduce the number of people who require hospitalization.”
  • People can book appointments online in Florida for monoclonal antibody treatments. They can receive the treatment at locations without a prescription or cost, per WPTV.

The locations in Florida use the monoclonal antibody treatments from Regeneron therapy, which is an antibody cocktail, as I wrote for the Deseret News. Getting the therapy early remains paramount, though. A viral Florida photo showed what happened to patients who sought out the therapy too late.