DENVER (CBS4) – With COVID-19 hospitalizations still hovering around the second highest peak since the pandemic began, a push is underway to get more people monoclonal antibodies to ease a stressed healthcare system.
“I just felt like my coughing, I couldn’t stop coughing,” said Elaine Duran, who received a monoclonal antibody infusion on Friday afternoon at National Jewish Health.READ MORE: Colorado Weather: Fire Danger Ahead Of Next Storm System
Duran tested positive for the coronavirus a few days ago at an urgent care facility. They quickly got her scheduled for the infusion.
“They said that I am a good candidate for the antibodies. I have a lot of illnesses. So that made me qualified. The doctor there explained it to me and told me it would have helped me get over this COVID a lot faster and not end up in the hospital,” she said.
“There’s a lot of renewed interest in the monoclonal antibodies with this surge,” said Dr. Carrie Horn, the Chief Medical Officer at National Jewish Health. “We really are focusing on getting early intervention and administering the medication as early as possible to prevent severe illness.”READ MORE: Deadly Hit & Run At I-70 And Pecos Street Under Investigation
Horn says people can get the infusion within 10 days of onset of symptoms or a positive test. Infusions are recommended for anyone older than 65 years of age or people with health conditions such as chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
The infusions work by getting the antibodies into the system so they can block the spike protein on the virus.
“They get in the way and the virus can’t bind to your cell, it can’t get into the cell and it can’t make more of itself,” Horn said.
“My lungs feel so much better than when I went in there because I just couldn’t stop coughing when I when I first went in,” Duran said about the treatment.
While this treatment is urged for people who have COVID-19 it is not a replacement for getting vaccinated.MORE NEWS: Jackknifed Semi That Took Out Guardrail In Icy Conditions Led To I-70 Closure
“This is a reactive point, we’d much rather go with the vaccine route and minimize you even getting the infection or needing this medication,” Horn said.