CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department plans to hold its first monoclonal antibody therapy clinic Friday for residents who have COVID-19.
The clinic, which will be doctor-referral only, is designed to keep people in the early days of COVID out of the hospital.
“This is our last ditch effort,” Kanawha-Charleston Health Department Director Dr. Sherri Young said at Thursday afternoon media briefing. “We have tried to test as much as we can, which we will continue, vaccinate as much as we can, which we will continue, but because we know this is a disease of mostly unvaccinated individuals and some breakthrough cases we know we need this to keep people out of the hospitals.”
Young said they plan to administer six regeneron antibody infusions Friday. She hopes that number can grow to as many as 40 a day.
The process takes more than an hour to complete.
Those referred for the treatment have to be older than 12, in the 10-day window of testing positive for COVID and not sick enough to be in the hospital.
COVID hospitalizations in the Mountain State went above the 900-mark Thursday.
Young credited Gov. Jim Justice’s office and the state InterAgency Task Force for helping to get the clinic up and running. The department asked the state for $1 million emergency funding last week.
Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper, Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin and Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority Director Monica Mason all spoke at Thursday’s briefing in support of the clinic.
“This is not a substitution or an excuse not to get vaccinated but what it is–it’s an opportunity for those who may have been vaccinated but now have received breakthrough cases,” Carper said.