BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration announced the deployment of three state-supported mobile units for monoclonal antibody treatment for high-risk individuals who have been exposed to or have COVID-19. These new clinics have the capacity to treat a combined 500 patients per week with therapies that have shown to be effective in reducing severity of disease and keeping COVID-positive individuals from being hospitalized.
Referral from a healthcare provider is required for treatment at any of the three new mobile clinics. Treatment is provided at no cost to the patient and offered regardless of immigration status or health insurance. Patients should discuss with their healthcare providers whether monoclonal antibody treatment is right for them.
Two of the new mobile units, currently in Fall River and Holyoke, began administering monoclonal antibody treatment (mAb) to patients on Nov. 22, and a third unit will be deployed to Everett on Dec. 3. These mobile clinics will increase access to monoclonal antibody treatment in Massachusetts for high-risk individuals who have tested positive for COVID or who have been exposed to someone with COVID. The mobile clinic sites can be relocated easily based on demand.
“These mobile sites enable individuals with early COVID-19 or who have been exposed to COVID-19 to be treated quickly and safely with monoclonal antibody infusion,” acting Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke said. “While the best protection against COVID-19 is vaccination, these therapies can help prevent hospitalization and severe illness for infected or exposed high-risk individuals. People with questions about whether this treatment is right for them should discuss it with their healthcare provider.”
In partnership with the Department of Public Health, the temporary clinics will be operated by Gothams, a Texas-based emergency-management company with experience supporting commercial, federal, and state facilities in COVID emergency response. Mobile clinic staff will also be deployed to provide mAb in community locations, such as nursing homes, assisted-living residences, and congregate-care settings.
Under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s emergency-use authorization, COVID-positive or exposed patients age 12 and older at high risk for severe COVID illness are eligible to receive monoclonal antibody treatment. The single intravenous infusion treatment takes 20 to 30 minutes, followed by an hour of patient monitoring. If administered within 10 days of onset of COVID symptoms, the one-time therapy is highly effective in neutralizing the virus and preventing symptoms from worsening.
With the addition of these three mobile units, Massachusetts residents can now receive monoclonal antibody treatment at 32 publicly available locations. A map of sites can be found by clicking here. More more information about accessing this treatment, click here.