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BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — As Colorado urges people to consider monoclonal antibody treatment to help reduce COVID-19 hospitalizations, a Boulder woman shared her experience with the treatment.

A Regeneron monoclonal antibody infusion bag at a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

Jill Lester and her husband were both vaccinated but tested positive for COVID-19 in July.

“I felt really such pain in my body that I have never experienced in my life with any flu before, ever, and understood how sick it could make people, and it was frightening,” Lester said.

The 66-year-old from Boulder knew to ask about monoclonal antibody treatment, which is an infusion that is given at a health facility. Data shows it can decrease the risk of hospitalization by 70-80%.

“It took 15 minutes. It was painless. It was smooth,” Lester said.

Both she and her husband got the infusion, stayed out of the hospital and recovered.

“You could feel how much better you were within hours of the treatment,” Lester said. 

Who is eligible for monoclonal antibody treatment?

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said COVID patients may be eligible for the treatment if:

  • they are over 12 years old,
  • tested positive for COVID,
  • have had mild to moderate symptoms for less than 10 days and are not hospitalized,
  • and are at high risk for severe symptoms.

Hoping to keep the number of hospitalizations down, the state is now expanding the use of monoclonal antibody treatments. There are more than 160 providers in the state, including five mobile buses.

Lester is glad she and her husband got the treatment.

“I am really thankful,” she said.

She recovered so quickly she was even able to take a planned trip to Europe a few weeks later.