Amid the global coronavirus pandemic, new developments and treatments are continually being released. One treatment that has been available via FDA emergency use since 2020 is monoclonal antibody infusions for COVID-19.
FlexCare Infusion Centers currently offers monoclonal antibody infusions by physician prescription only at our clinic located in Birmingham, Alabama.
What is a monoclonal antibody infusion?
Monoclonal antibody infusions for COVID-19 are infusion treatments designed to help make the course of the disease shorter and less severe and to prevent hospitalizations.
The monoclonal antibodies found in these medications are lab-created proteins developed to replicate your immune system’s ability to fight viruses. When new infections like coronavirus emerge, your body doesn’t yet have the antibodies it needs to fight it, so the monoclonal antibodies step in and help your body respond to the virus.
Who are antibody infusions recommended for?
Patients who meet the following criteria may be eligible for monoclonal antibody infusions:
- Are within the first 10 days of COVID-19 symptom onset
- Have tested positive for COVID-19
- Are at high risk for complications related to COVID-19 due to their age, chronic disease, or other health condition
- Are not experiencing below-normal oxygen levels
- Have not yet been hospitalized
- Are at least 12 years old and at least 88 pounds
Does a doctor have to prescribe an antibody infusion?
We receive lots of phone calls from potential patients who have received a positive test and want to receive an antibody infusion. These infusions are just like any other prescription medication in that they require a prescription from your physician for us to administer them to you.
What is the availability of antibody infusion treatments?
At this time, our Birmingham location is the only FlexCare clinic offering monoclonal antibody infusion treatments.
Distribution of the antibody infusion medications is managed by the state, and the number of infusions available for our clinic is dependent on that system.
How long does a monoclonal antibody infusion take?
The infusion itself will take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes, assuming that it is tolerated well by the patient. Following the infusion, we monitor the patient in our clinic for 45 to 60 minutes, so the total duration of the appointment takes about 90 minutes.
How much does it cost?
The US government distributes the antibody infusion medications from manufacturers to each state for free. If the patient has insurance, their insurance company will pay an administration fee to our clinic for administering the medication. For patients without insurance, please call our clinic for an estimate of patient cost for administering the infusion.
What safety protocols are we following to protect our staff and other patients?
Our goal is to help the Birmingham community and surrounding areas in the fight against COVID-19 while protecting and continuing to serve all of our infusion patients.
As the number of patient referrals and medication availability for these infusions increases, we designate a specific day (or days) of the week for antibody infusions. This allows our staff plenty of time to thoroughly clean and disinfect the area after seeing COVID-19 patients.
The Birmingham clinic includes a separate entrance that opens directly to a private infusion room. This setup allows COVID-positive patients to enter the treatment room without having potential contact with any other patients or areas of our clinic.
Our staff follows all recommended PPE protocols including gowns, masks, and face shields. We also have FDA-approved cleaners for use in disinfecting COVID-19 contact areas.
What might change about monoclonal antibody infusions as new variants emerge?
As new variants emerge, we will defer to the FDA and CDC for updated recommendations regarding infusion treatments and safety protocols for COVID-19.
Is it safe for me to receive a monoclonal antibody infusion?
The FlexCare Infusion Center team is part of your healthcare team that administers the medication your doctor has prescribed. You will want to discuss any concerns related to this medication with your doctor to determine whether it is the right treatment option for you.
Contact our Birmingham clinic
If you are eligible and have a prescription to receive a monoclonal antibody infusion, call our Birmingham clinic at (205) 379-0174 to check availability and make your appointment.