Health care workers started administering “lifesaving” monoclonal antibody treatments Saturday at Utah’s long-term care facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks, according to a tweet from the Utah Department of Health.
Gov. Spencer Cox recently announced this step as part of efforts to speed up COVID-19 vaccinations in Utah.
President Donald Trump received the same infusion treatment when he contracted COVID-19 last fall.
“Monoclonal antibodies for COVID-19 may block the virus that causes COVID-19 from attaching to human cells, making it more difficult for the virus to reproduce and cause harm,” according to the tweet.
The teams administering the treatment consist of two nurses and two medics, as well as other health care providers from the state department of health and Utah National Guard, the tweet states.
The department said it expected to administer 25 infusions at five facilities Saturday.
Two monoclonal antibody therapies have been authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration, according to the department’s website.
“The limited supply, and restrictions imposed by the FDA, authorize the use of these treatments to only a small subset of the COVID-19 positive cases. In Utah, the product received from the Federal Government is estimated to treat between 2-5% of the eligible population,” the website states.
On Saturday, a record 231 patients with COVID-19 were hospitalized in intensive care units in Utah, as the state reported 2,150 new cases of the virus and 13 deaths.