December 3, 2020

New antibody treatment for COVID-19 patients coming to Mississippi hospitals

New antibody treatments for COVID-19 are set for distribution for some Mississippi patients.

Doctors at the University of Mississippi Medical Center said the antibody treatments are being provided by the federal government in the next 48 hours.

The treatments are not a vaccine like the ones currently being tested. Pfizer and Moderna have both produced vaccines with a 90% or more efficiency rate, which could be ready for health care workers and certain vulnerable people between now and Christmas. As of Monday afternoon, doctors at UMMC reported there are no available ICU beds in Jackson Hospitals, making an antibody treatment option for some patients crucial to lower hospitalizations.

The antibody that will soon be distributed has been authorized for outgoing patients in high-risk groups down to the age of 12 years old, Assistant Vice Chancellor Dr. Alan Jones told WJTV news. Patients cannot be sick enough to be hospitalized, Jones said. The goal of providing the antibody is to keep patients out of the hospital.

UMMC staff said they are most concerned about manpower needs if the number COVID-19 cases continue to increase after the holidays.

To get the antibody treatment patients must first test positive then get access after meeting requirements through the UMMC emergency department.