A growing network of healthcare facilities now provides access to monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy, REGENERON, including the Molokaʻi Community Health Center in partnership with the US Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the Maui Memorial Medical Center.
Monoclonal antibody therapy offered on Molokaʻi
Representatives of the MCHC say this unique therapy is “very effective in preventing serious illnesses and hospitalizations caused by COVID-19.”
“We continue to see our people testing positive for COVID-19 statewide at an all-time high rate every day. Molokaʻi is currently one of the most vulnerable areas in our state and is at great risk of serious hospitalization and even death from this virus. We have something here and now for our patients and their families who are directly affected. We encourage high-risk patients who test positive for COVID-19 to seek treatment with monoclonal antibodies, ”said Helen Kekalia Wescoatt, CEO of Molokaʻi Community Health Center.
According to mapping produced by the state health ministry, Molokaʻi has reported 46 cases in the past two weeks. It represents more than a quarter of the total number of cases reported on the island during the pandemic. Between 60.1% -70% of the inhabitants of Molokaʻi have completed their vaccinations.
“With hospitals reaching crisis care standards, all measures must be taken to prevent the development of severe COVID which then leads to hospitalization. Our best tool to prevent COVID is still vaccination and this must continue to be everyone’s # 1 priority. However, with a large number of unvaccinated people remaining and with the threat of rupture infections in those vaccinated, effective treatment of COVID in its early stages is also a top priority. Monoclonal antibody therapy is safe, effective and is another essential tool in the treatment of this potentially fatal disease, ”said Scott R. Link, MD, CMO at the Molokaʻi Community Health Center.
The MCHC indicates that in patients at high risk of COVID-19, this drug can be given up to 10 days after the first onset of symptoms or a positive test. According to MCHC, the earlier REGENERON is given in the infection, the more likely it is to be effective. “This drug is also approved for use by high-risk patients who have not tested positive for COVID-19 as soon as possible after known exposure to COVID,” the MCHC said.
Treatment is given as a single injection and is licensed for people 12 years and older with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are not hospitalized, do not need supplemental oxygen and meet the criteria.
“Receiving treatment earlier in the illness can help prevent the development of more serious symptoms that would otherwise require hospitalization. The criteria for treatment are broad and many people are likely candidates who would benefit, ”MCHC said in a press release.
This particular regimen is approved by the Federal Drug Administration under Emergency Use Authorization. Hospital officials say the treatment is effective but does not replace vaccination. On Molokaʻi, there is no cost to the patient and treatment is offered regardless of patient status or health insurance.
For more information or to be examined to determine if you are a candidate for monoclonal therapy, please call the MCHC at 808-553-5038, ext 1.
Maui REGENERON Health Offer
Maui Health chief medical director Dr Michael Shea spoke at an afternoon press briefing on Maui, saying REGENERON is also available on Maui.
“If you are COVID positive but not so sick that you need to be hospitalized, there are treatments available that can actually reduce your risk of hospitalization… If you want to, contact your doctor. They can arrange it through the hospital to get you a dose, ”said Dr. Shea, noting that treatment is available now at the Maui Memorial Medical Center emergency room and in the area of. outpatient hospital consultation.
“You must have a referral from your doctor for our program. They have the information available. If they want the information, they can go to our website, ”he said.
“We have emergency use authorization for many treatments related to COVID. We would be happy to give them to you if you are sick enough to need them, ”said Dr Shea.
What is the difference between a third injection and a vaccine booster?
Maui health officials also offered more information on vaccinations, explaining the difference between a third injection and a vaccine booster.
“There is a third injection available for people who are severely immunocompromised… The third dose means that the first two doses didn’t get your antibody levels where they should be because you are immunocompromised. Recently published studies show that some people will not produce antibodies if they take drugs that suppress their immune system. And there are specific drugs, ”said Dr Shea.
Those who are interested can speak to their doctor to see if they qualify. If they do, that third shot is available at the Maui Health Clinic on Mondays and Fridays, between 9 a.m. and noon or 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. No appointment is necessary.
“The booster is for those of us who received an injection in December or January or after. We got a normal immune response, but over time, about eight months later, we start to see a decrease in that immune response. The booster is to bring those antibody levels back to where they belong, ”Dr Shea said.
Maui Health administrators say they are not yet licensed to give booster shots, but suspect it will happen soon. “I promise you, as soon as we are able to give it to you, we will put it on all available media and make it freely available to everyone. We currently have a lot of vaccine doses, so there shouldn’t be a shortage, ”said Dr Shea.
Maui Health Latest to Warn Against Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine
Maui Health administrators are the latest to warn about ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine following similar warnings from the CDC, the state Department of Health and the mayor’s office.
“Don’t let misinformation take your life away. There is so much information on social media right now. It’s all in the news. [Regarding] Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine – There are some well-meaning people out there who are just trying to find the silver bullet to beat this disease, but these are unproven treatments and they are actually dangerous, ”said Dr Shea.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a health advisory on Thursday, amid a rapid rise in prescriptions for ivermectin and reports of serious illness associated with the use of products containing ivermectin to prevent or treat the disease. COVID-19.
“They are seeing an increased number of people calling for poison control with ivermectin overdoses. It is life threatening. Please do not use these treatments for COVID,” said Dr Shea.
He appealed to the public, saying: “Things are tough right now. People are working very hard… People are exhausted. Pay attention please. Do the right thing. Protect your loved ones. Protect yourself. Get vaccinated and stay home as much as you can. “