BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — A state-sponsored monoclonal infusion site is now open in Kern County. Monoclonal antibodies are used to treat someone recently diagnosed with COVID-19. If you tested positive, monoclonal antibody therapy could help reduce your symptoms and keep you out of the hospital. The treatment is now available at the Valley Fever Institute.
“Once that you're here, we'll come out and meet you at the car, we'll check you out, assess your vital signs and bring you back into a room," Jackie Laws said.
Jackie Laws is Clinical Director at Kern Medical's Columbus Clinic and says to receive treatment, you have to be positive for COVID-19, the onset of your symptoms have to have occurred in the last 10 days, be 12 years of age and older, or be at a high risk for severe disease.
According to Kern Medical, a monoclonal antibody is a laboratory-produced protein that functions similar to natural antibodies and targets the germs that cause COVID-19.
“Once you receive the monoclonal antibodies, it boosts you up like it's a big injection of vitamins and fluids where you feel great, that way it allows your body to recover faster," Laws said.
Kern Medical Clinical Pharmacist Rose Bauer says patients receiving the treatment will get four subcutaneous injections during their visit.
“Two usually behind your upper arms and two in the belly button area and then you’re done. The two medications in there are Casirivimab and Imdevimab and they're 600 milligram each and we give them four syringes, 2.5 milliliter each," Bauer said.
After you receive the monoclonal antibody, you will be monitored for any reactions and then discharged.
“Its just very important that you do stay distanced from your family and anyone when you have tested positive for COVID-19 but it is so important to make sure you cough, take deep breaths that way you can get your lungs to expand," Laws said.
Kern Medical says vaccination remains the most effective way to protect against COVID-19, but anyone interested in knowing whether monoclonal antibody therapy is a treatment option for them should talk to their healthcare provider.
Appointments are available at Kern Medical's Valley Fever Institute Monday through Saturday. The site can provide up to 25 treatments per day and is open to anyone regardless of health insurance or immigration status.