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COVID-19 Antibody Treatment

Idaho Falls Community Hospital Offering Outpatient COVID-19 Antibody Treatment

Idaho Falls Community Hospital has been selected as one of the hospitals statewide to provide Idahoans with a new, outpatient antibody treatment, bamlanivimab, to fight COVID-19 and prevent hospitalizations.

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for bamlanivimab to treat patients 12 and older who have tested positive for the coronavirus, currently have mild to moderate symptoms but are at high risk of developing more severe symptoms or needing to be hospitalized. This is one of the coronavirus drugs used to treat the President in October.

“This new drug marks the first time since the pandemic started that our community has had an outpatient treatment available. This is a step in the right direction and, along with the help of the community, we hope it will reduce hospitalizations related to COVID-19,” said Casey Jackman, COO of Idaho Falls Community Hospital.

The State of Idaho has selected hospitals throughout the state to distribute this treatment. The weekly shipments of bamlanivimab are being provided to the state at no cost through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Until we can offer our community members a vaccine, antibody drugs, like bamlanivimab, will likely play a crucial role in helping us manage the virus,” said Whitney Cooley, director of pharmacy for Idaho Falls Community Hospital. “When we are sick, our body produces antibodies to fight off illness. Bamlanivimab is a highly concentrated dose of laboratory-made antibodies shown to be effective against COVID-19, which helps kickstart our bodies’ natural process and can help patients recover from the virus sooner.”

Bamlanivimab is a one-time treatment administered through an IV. Community members who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are interested in receiving bamlanivimab should contact their primary care physician. Doctors are coordinating closely with the hospital to ensure high risk patients have access to this treatment.

Bamlanivimab should be given as soon as possible after positive COVID-19 test results are confirmed and within 10 days of symptom onset. Unfortunately, bamlanivimab is not authorized for patients who are hospitalized due to COVID-19 or require oxygen therapy.

In clinical trials, bamlanivimab reduced hospitalizations and emergency room visits related to COVID-19 in patients at high risk for disease progression within 28 days of treatment when compared to a placebo.

Idaho Falls Community Hospital started treating patients with Bamlanivimab on Friday, November 13.

Bamlanivimab does not replace the need for the community to take active steps to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Doctors continue to encourage Idahoans to wear masks and practice physical distancing, especially with the holidays around the corner.