Sask. rolling out monoclonal antibody treatment for unvaccinated COVID-19 patients
Starting Nov. 1, unvaccinated people who test positive for COVID-19 can request the treatment
Saskatchewan is the latest province to roll-out monoclonal antibody treatment for people fighting COVID-19 infections.
The treatment is primarily for unvaccinated patients who are deemed likely to end up in hospital. It is a one-time treatment, delivered intravenously.
Monoclonal antibody treatments only work on patients who have no or very low levels of anti-bodies — meaning most vaccinated people wouldn't qualify.
The province said there are some cases of immunocompromised or immunosuppressed people who could be treated even if they were vaccinated.
To qualify for the treatment patients must be 55 years old or older, or be an adult with a severe health condition. The province also says a patient must get treatment within five days of becoming symptomatic.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority is already rolling out the monoclonal antibody injections in Saskatoon and Regina at provincial testing sites.
Starting Nov. 1, people who test positive will be able to request the treatment.
"The final decision to prescribe monoclonal antibodies will be made by clinician," a news release issued Monday said.
The province also stressed that the monoclonal antibody treatment is not a substitute for the vaccine.
"The best measure to prevent COVID-19 is to be fully vaccinated," the release said.
People who receive the treatment can still get vaccinated after 90 days.
Monoclonal antibody treatments have been used by doctors in the United States. Most famously, they were used on former president Donald Trump, who fought COVID-19 in October 2020.