There are no approved medications that speed the recovery from Covid 19 in people who are not sick enough to be hospitalized. Now there is one that is available under emergency use authorization EAU. Bamlanivimab is a synthetic monoclonal antibody against the spike protein of the Covid 19 virus with which we are all familiar. That antibody treatment is now available to residents of San Antonio on a limited basis for those individuals who are at risk to progress to severe Covid 19. These are the guidelines for it’s use:
High risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization is defined as patients who meet at
least one of the following criteria:
• Have a body mass index (BMI) ≥35
• Have chronic kidney disease
• Have diabetes
• Have immunosuppressive disease
• Are currently receiving immunosuppressive treatment
• Are ≥65 years of age
• Are ≥55 years of age AND have
o cardiovascular disease, or
o hypertension, or
o chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/other chronic respiratory disease.
• Are 12 – 17 years of age AND have
o BMI ≥85th percentile for their age and gender based on CDC growth charts,
o sickle cell disease, or
o congenital or acquired heart disease, or
o neurodevelopmental disorders, for example, cerebral palsy, or
o a medical-related technological dependence, for example, tracheostomy, gastrostomy, or
positive pressure ventilation (not related to COVID-19), or
o asthma, reactive airway or other chronic respiratory disease that requires daily medication
COVID Monoclonal Antibody Therapy Now Available in San Antonio
In order to assist STRAC (Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Counsel) Regional Hospitals, a coalition of area Hospital Systems, STRAC, the San Antonio Fire Department and the UT Health San Antonio, Office of the EMS Medical Director have established a Regional Infusion Center (RIC) to administer COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibodies to outpatients referred from area Physicians, Clinics, Urgent Care Centers and Emergency Departments. The goal of this project is to prevent hospitalizations/ER visits for select patients with COVID 19 infection. Click here for details.
STRAC Regional Infusion Center Patient Screening/Referral Form
Frequently Asked Questions on the Emergency Use Authorization for Bamlanivimab
The antibody is also being given on a limited basis by the Methodist Hospital System. It will be given at a freestanding emergency room. The details of this are still being worked out. This treatment may help to keep people from having to be admitted to the hospital.
This is a very exciting development. Also, December the 10th is when the FDA will most likely approve the Pfizer vaccine. I’ve been told the military already has the vaccine and will start to administer it on December 11th.