Department of Defense team travels to Utah to oversee monoclonal antibody treatment center

ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – More than a dozen members of the US Department of Defense will come to Utah to help the state in its fight against COVID-19.

Tuesday a correspondent with Reuters reported that the military has said it will deploy a monoclonal antibody infusion team to Utah. Within the team are 15 people in active service. Troops have already been deployed to Alabama, Idaho and Washington.

The Utah Department of Health has previously worked to open or support three monoclonal treatment sites – the Murray Field Hospital site, Davis Hospital in Layton, and Nomi Health in Orem. Now, Charla Haley of UDOH says they are preparing to open a fourth site – a fixed site in St. George.

As Haley explains, Utah hospitals have been providing monoclonal antibody therapy in Utah for about a year. Monoclonal antibody treatment is administered by intravenous or IV infusion. The process takes about 2-3 hours, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. To receive the treatment, which is an infusion of lab-created antibodies that can be used to fight COVID-19, you must already test positive for the virus.

“As we continue to see a significant medical increase and high hospitalization rates, UDOH, through its Incident Command, has activated a project to expand the capacity of monoclonal antibodies,” Haley said. at ABC4. To do this, UDOH optimized Murray Field Hospital and partnered with Davis Hospital and Nomi Health. By opening the St. George fixed site, Haley says UDOH hopes to expand access to monoclonal antibody treatments, which may “be able to reduce some of the new daily COVID-19 hospitalizations occurring in Utah.”

To expand and utilize the available capacity, UDOH requested federal monoclonal treatment teams through FEMA. The application was accepted and Utah was approved for two assignments – a team of clinicians from the public health services to support the expansion of the Murray site and a team of clinicians from the Department of Defense to staff and manage the site. of St. George.

Haley says an exact opening date for the St. George site has yet to be determined but likely will be later this week.

Researchers from Intermountain Healthcare recently discovered that treating high-risk COVID-19 patients with monoclonal antibody therapy may reduce serious illnesses and hospitalizations by more than 50%. They also found a monoclonal antibody treatment saved many patients from death due to the complications of the virus.

To learn more about treatment with monoclonal antibodies, Click here.

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