Another monoclonal antibody treatment option available in Kootenai County

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho– Health care experts are doing what they can to help relieve some of the strain COVID-19 has on hospitals in North Idaho.

One way to do that is by adding another place for people to go and get monoclonal antibody treatment.

Starting on Wednesday, COVID-19 patients will be about to head to the Kootenai County Fairgrounds for the treatment. However, not just anyone can hop in line. It’s by appointment only and the referral must come from a licensed provider in Idaho to get the treatment.

Monoclonal antibody treatment is for patients who have developed COVID and have a positive COVID test- with mild to moderate symptoms. The treatment is to avoid hospitalization, particularly for high-risk patients. Regardless of vaccination status, they are eligible to get treatment. With that said, they do expect most patients to be unvaccinated.

“We’re seeing a tremendous spike in hospitalization here at Kootenai Health. SO were trying to limit the number of people who end hospitalized due to severe COVID symptoms,” said Dr. Peter Purrington, the Chief Clinical Officer for Heritage Health.

While the treatment is available to anybody regardless of vaccination status, Dr. Purrington says they expect most of the patients will be unvaccinated.

“There’s a lot of vaccine hesitancy in the country still because of what’s perceived as the newness of the vaccination. People are much more likely to receive treatment once they develop symptoms, so people have a different level of acceptance to taking antibody treatment as opposed to taking a vaccine,” Dr. Purrington said.

Those who do get the treatment and then decide to get the vaccine can do so after 30 days.

The fairgrounds location plans to be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It will treat 45 people a day.

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