Northland health officials: Antibody treatment can help combat COVID variants

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 5:46 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (CBS 3) - As many questions continue to circulate around the new Omicron variant, Northland health officials said a rise in the highly effective monoclonal antibody treatment is promising.

“They’re lab-made proteins that are specifically designed to target the spike protein on the COVID-19 virus,” Stephanie Nixon at Essentia said, “And what they do is they block the virus from being able to attach and enter into the human cells”.

The antibodies are injected through an IV for patients in the high-risk population, who have mild to moderate symptoms within 10 days of testing positive.

The treatment’s main mission is to keep potentially deadly symptoms at bay.

“We expect them to be - continue to be effective the question is how effective and that will be clearer in coming weeks,” a health official on the Minnesota Department of Health COVID conference call said Thursday afternoon.

At the moment, only people who are in a high-risk population and over 12-years-old can get the monoclonal antibody treatment.

The treatment is one of many efforts to prevent hospitalizations and deaths.

“They will reduce the potential for a patient to develop severe symptoms and need to admit to the emergency room or the hospital,” Nixon said.

Essentia said currently they offer three types of antibody treatments.

All types are 70-80% effective against the Delta variant.

Click here for more information on qualifications for antibody treatment.

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