Regeneron antibody therapy available to COVID-19 patients with certain risk factors

Houston, TEXAS – After Gov. Greg Abbott’s announced Tuesday that he tested positive for COVID-19, his communications director says he is receiving the Regeneron antibody infusion therapy.

Governor Abbott said he was not feeling any symptoms, which sparked some questions as to who is able to get the monoclonal antibody treatment.

READ: Gov. Greg Abbott, who is fully vaccinated, tests positive for COVID-19

“If he’s asymptomatic, why is he getting monoclonal antibodies? There’s pieces missing here -- it’s hard to speculate,” said Dr. Peter Hotez of Baylor College of Medicine on MSNBC.

Dr. Shawn Nishi said without knowing the governor’s full medical history, she couldn’t comment either. But she said some people who show no symptoms are eligible to get the antibody treatment.

“People that qualify typically are mild to moderate disease, COVID positive, they’re not in the hospital yet. Those without symptoms who qualify are those patients that are high risk for disease progression,” said Dr. Shawn Nishi with UTMB Health.

Like those who live in a nursing home, those who are immune-compromised, your age, if you are obese, and other risk factors may qualify for the treatment.

Last week, UTMB Health had more than 300 appointments with the demand continuously growing. This week, Houston Methodist has 800 people scheduled to get the antibody treatment too.

David Frey, who had a kidney transplant and is immune-compromised, received the infusion antibody treatment after testing positive a few weeks ago. He believes that and the vaccine helped him from getting any worse.

“Within about a day and a half, my temperature started going down very close to normal temperature. I thank God I just mentioned it to my friend and he sent me something about it I wouldn’t have known about it any other way,” David Frey said.

Dr. Nishi said there is another antibody Regeneron therapy available at UTMB Health. This is a series of four shots.

It is a lot faster than infusion therapy, which takes about two hours total.

Both treatments are available for those who qualify.

Click here for more information on the antibody treatment from the UTMB Health website.

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