Gov. Cooper visits monoclonal antibody treatment facility in Wilmington
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Governor Roy Cooper spent Wednesday afternoon on a tour of a monoclonal antibody treatment facility.
At a clinic that already offers COVID tests and vaccinations, this treatment helps people beat the virus. Monoclonal antibody treatment gives patients antibodies through either an IV drip or injection.
Previously, Doctors accessed the drug directly from the manufacturer, but that changed this week.
“Because we’re seeing the need for it, we’re moving back to a process we’ve used for our vaccinations where the state will now have an allocation of those treatment doses,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
Cooper and Cohen visited the Cape Fear Clinic, which has been administering 30 to 35 doses of the antibody treatments a week for free.
Earlier this month, Cooper signed an executive order to make it easier for North Carolinians to access the treatment, which can help decrease the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death related to COVID-19.
“We know if given early enough, with mild to moderate symptoms, that it can have a positive effect on these patients,” said Cooper. “We’re glad the Cape Fear Clinic has stepped up and become one of the 186 places in North Carolina that you can get these monoclonal antibodies.”
The order will be in effect through November 30.
Just two days after the three-hour treatment, patients can show significant improvements compared to when they first walked in.
“[Those who are] unvaccinated have worse symptoms and theirs linger for a little bit longer, but most everyone in about two days, they start feeling better,” said Michael Murray, RN. “That’s the goal. The goal was don’t get sicker and keep you out of the hospital.”
It’s a promising treatment for those whose alternative may be a scary trip to the ICU.
While monoclonal antibody treatment is effective regardless of the patient’s vaccination status, both Cooper and Cohen say the only way out of the pandemic is through vaccinations.
“We’re working hard to get employers, families, friends, other to convince people to do this,” said Cooper. “We’re making progress. Things have leveled off a little bit over the last couple of weeks, which is positive.”
After touring the facility, Cooper answered a variety of questions afterwards, including those on Union County Schools putting an end to its contact tracing and quarantining efforts.
“We are deeply concerned about the situation in Union County. I’ve consulted with Dr. Cohen and the state health director and they are looking at their options at this point,” he said.
The full visit can be seen below:
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