DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado health leaders hope to decrease peak hospitalizations in the state by 150 to 300 by increasing the use of monoclonal antibody therapy, or mAb.
The therapy is an injection of lab-made antibodies to help the body fight off COVID-19 infections. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment believes more of this treatment can reduce the state’s risk of exceeding hospital capacity by 30% and prevent 2,600 hospitalizations and 210 deaths between now and February.
The state said data shows it can reduce the likelihood of hospitalization between 70-80%.
In a news briefing Friday, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said 1 in 48 Coloradans are contagious with COVID-19, according to the latest modeling, as the state remains a hotspot compared to the rest of the country which is on the decline.
Polis was joined by Jill Lester during the briefing. Lester and her husband both caught COVID-19 in July after a trip to Glenwood Springs. They both got vaccinated in March, but the couple were bedridden from the virus. Lester was told by a contact at UCHealth that mAb could be an option, and they both received treatment.
“The monoclonal infusion went very smoothly and while it took me a couple of days to begin feeling better, I then quickly and fully recovered. The treatment was efficient and uneventful and I was able to recover faster and reduce my risk for complications. I’m so glad that we have this wonderful monoclonal antibody treatment technology to help people recover from this frightening illness,” Jill Lester said.
As the state ramps up opportunities for Coloradans who test positive for mAb, there are some things you should know first, like if you’re eligible to receive the treatment.
Who is eligible for monoclonal antibody treatment?
According to the CDPHE, you may be eligible if you:
- Are an adult or pediatric patient (at least 12 years of age)
- Have tested positive for COVID-19
- Are experiencing mild or moderate symptoms of COVID-19 prior to need for hospitalization
- Experienced your first symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 19 days
- Are at high risk for having more serious symptoms of COVID-19 and/or going into the hospital, including having an underlying medical condition
The state currently has 161 enrolled providers and five mAb buses, with five more on the way. The providers are concentrated in the Denver metro, with some providers scattered across each region of the state.