An antibody treatment that can reduce severe illness, hospitalizations and death for high-risk patients who have contracted the most recent COVID-19 variant is available at Memorial Care on Koke Mill.
The monoclonal antibody infusion treatment, sotrovimab, is for 12 years old and older and is administered at the urgent care facility, previously known as Memorial ExpressCare – Koke Mill, at 3132 Old Jacksonville Road in Springfield.
Patients must have a physician’s referral for the treatment. With the stock of monoclonal antibodies outpacing demand across the nation, Memorial Care also has a “limited and restricted supply” available, said Dr. Anna Richie, clinical director of urgent care at Memorial Care.
Sotrovimab has proven highly successful against COVID-19’s omicron variant, which emerged locally in mid-November. The omicron variant has proven resistant to other antibody therapies used to treat previous COVID-19 variants.
Like antibody infusion treatments before it, sotrovimab is administered through an IV at a hospital or other facility with infusion sites.
“It’s not a cure, but it does appear to slow progression and worsening of the disease. It’s ideal for anyone with mild or moderate COVID-19 symptoms,” Richie said.
Antibody infusion treatment is beneficial for individuals in the most vulnerable of high-risk groups, such as those older than 65, who are obese, have higher-risk health conditions, poorly controlled diabetes or compromised immune systems, Richie said.
Patients seeking the antibody infusion treatment should first check with their primary care physician to learn if they qualify for the treatment.
The omicron variant accounts for about 98% of COVID-19 cases in the country, according to information posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Memorial Health has offered monoclonal antibody infusions since November 2020 but stopped previous treatments when they became ineffective against new variants.
“Treatment decisions became difficult to make because we don’t have a quick way of knowing if a patient is infected with delta or omicron,” said Richie. “With omicron variant rates now significantly higher than delta in our region, our best bet is to use the antibody infusion treatment that is proven effective against all COVID-19 variants.”
Memorial Health has administered more than 1,700 infusions in Springfield.