Michigan expanding antibody treatment use in the fight against COVID-19

Collaborator: Rachael Schuit
Published: 04/14/2021, 3:23 PM
(LANSING, Mich.) Governor Gretchen Whitmer addressed the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan on Wednesday during a news conference. She talked about the surging number of positive cases as well as Michigan's effort to give more people who test positive for COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatments (mAb). "We are using every mitigation strategy, every medication, and every treatment option to fight the virus here in Michigan,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “These antibody treatments could keep you out of the hospital and save your life, and my administration and I will continue working with the federal government to make sure we are using all the tools in our toolbox to keep you and your family safe and get back to normal sooner.” Whitmer says more than 6,600 Michiganders have received mAb. She also said that less than 5 percent of people who received mAb were hospitalized. 65 percent of people who got the treatment said they felt better within two days. Health officials say mAb works by targeting different aspects of the COVID-19 virus, preventing it from bonding to other cells in the body, neutralizing it. “When administered to non-hospitalized patients within 10 days of symptom onset, monoclonal antibodies may reduce symptoms and the risk of hospitalizations and emergency room visits associated with the virus,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “Michiganders who contract COVID-19 should ask their health care providers about receiving this treatment and I urge providers to assess if their patients qualify. We have seen successful use of this therapy in long-term care facilities and even in home use by EMS providers. This therapy can help save the lives of more Michigan residents as we work to vaccinate 70% of Michiganders age 16 and older with the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine as quickly as possible.” The mAb therapies were approved by the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) emergency use authorization. Governor Whitmer says people with certain underlying health conditions including cancer, high blood pressure, heart issues, lung issues, seniors and people who are immunocompromised. The treatments are given to people through Intravenous Infusion (IV) and is not intended for people who are hospitalized. Whitmer also stressed that mAb therapies are not a replacement for getting a vaccine.


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