FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A South Florida hospital is paving the way to treat high risk patients infected with COVID-19, including the new variants of the virus.
Dr. Joshua Lenchus, Chief Medical Officer with Broward Health Medical Center, said a combination of two monoclonal antibody therapies, rather than just one, has shown promising in treating the viral variants.
“The science behind monoclonal antibodies is really to give your body a boost, very different from a vaccine. A vaccine depends on your own immune system. This is effectively like convalescent plasma, where we give you the antibodies your body needs to fight the infection. The combination, made by Lilly and Regeneron, are thought to better protect against the variants we’re seeing now,” Lenchus said.
The combo therapy ideally has to be administered within the first three days of infection.
The therapy is only for people who are at risk of progressing to severe disease or hospitalization from COVID and it can also be used to treat the non-variant form of the disease in the same patient population.
And there’s more data on the long-term benefits of vaccination.
An ongoing study involving the Moderna vaccine is showing that antibody protection can last six months after the second dose, although it tends to decline more in people over the age of 56, compared to those between 18 to 56.
Researchers continue to monitor immune response after six months and are examining the impact of a potential booster dose against variants of the virus.