The Louisiana Department of Health is now operating six federally supported monoclonal antibody therapy (mAb) treatment sites and is on track to open seven additional sites through the end of next week.
Each site will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the ability to serve more than 150 patients daily per site.
"It's an infusion, it's an IV," said Dr. Tina Stefanski, Region 4 Medical Director. "It can help prevent progression to severe disease, the ultimate goal, is to prevent hospitalization and death. We know not only here in Acadiana, but throughout the country, it is in high demand."
Federally supported mAb sites operating as of September 17 are:
- Big Lots: 404 N. Canal St., Thibodaux, LA 70301
- Burton Coliseum: 7001 Gulf Hwy., Lake Charles, LA 70607
- Byrd Regional Hospital at Deer Creek: 810 S. 10th St., Leesville, LA 71496
- Clinton Alternative Learning Center: 9414 Plank Road, Clinton, LA 70722
- Rayne Civic Center: 400 Frog Festival Drive, Rayne, LA 70578
- Rapides Coliseum parking lot: 5600 Coliseum Blvd., Alexandria, LA 71303
Dates and locations of additional sites set to open include:
Saturday, September 18
- State Farm Building: 24 Accent Drive, Monroe, LA 71203
Monday, September 20
- Blackham Coliseum: 2330 Johnston St., Lafayette, LA 70503
- Houma Municipal Community Center: 880 Verret St., Houma, LA 70360
- Louisiana Fairgrounds: 3701 Hudson Ave., Shreveport, LA 71109
- Moorehouse General Hospital: 323 W. Walnut Ave., Bastrop, LA 71220
Thursday, September 23
- DeQuincy Ball Fields: 97 Bond Road, DeQuincy, LA 70633
Saturday, September 25
- 1316 LA 6, Campti, LA 71411
Louisiana received its first allocation of monoclonal antibodies on November 12, 2020, and began administering to positive, symptomatic patients immediately.
In addition to the federally-supported sites, there are 143 providers statewide that had received mAb shipments they could administer as treatment.
Monoclonal antibodies are man-made antibodies produced in a laboratory that can mimic the human immune system's response to infection. mAbs are designed to block viral attachment and entry into human cells, thus neutralizing the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a release from the Louisiana Dept. of Health.
Patients need to be referred by their doctor or another healthcare provider to a facility that offers mAb therapy such as a hospital or an infusion center. Those without a provider can be referred by an urgent care, community clinic, emergency department, hospitalist, etc.
Patients with a positive COVID-19 viral test should speak with their healthcare provider to determine whether they are eligible for mAb treatment and to discuss potential benefits and side effects.
Monoclonal antibody treatments may be used for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients who are within 10 days of the start of their symptoms, at least 12 years of age or older and weigh at least 88 pounds, and are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization.
The federal government has developed a searchable national map that shows locations that have received shipments of monoclonal antibody therapeutics under FDA EUA authority, within the past several weeks. The scalable map is at https://protect-public.hhs.gov/pages/therapeutics-distribution.
A call center is available to answer questions and provide information related to mAb therapeutic treatments at 1-877-332-6585 (English language) or 1-877-366-0310 (Spanish language).
In order to be eligible for mAb treatment, the patient must meet all of the following:
Have a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 (molecular/PCR or antigen)
Are within 10 days of the start of their symptoms
At least 12 years of age or older and weigh at least 88 pounds
Are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization
Patients are reminded the procedure takes at least two hours. This includes 30 minutes to receive the infusion, then 1.5 hours of observation.
For patients who are taking medications, they should take their regular doses before treatment. It is also OK to eat before the treatment.
For more information about mAbs, visit this site https://ldh.la.gov/index.cfm/page/4251.
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