LANSING — Governor Whitmer and the MDHHS said that the state is expanding the use of medical intervention to reduce COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths.
The intervention involves additional doses of monoclonal antibodies made available to providers and requests to providers to expand the number of infusion sites throughout the state.
“We are using every mitigation strategy, every medication and every treatment option to fight the virus here in Michigan,” Whitmer said. “These antibody treatments could keep you out of the hospital and save your life, and my administration and I will continue working with the federal government to make sure we are using all the tools in our toolbox to keep you and your family safe and get back to normal sooner.”
Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) are laboratory-produced molecules that can restore, enhance or mimic the immune system’s attack on cells and they target different parts of the virus to prevent it from bonding with cells in the body.
Clinical trials have shown promising data that this therapy works in treating COVID-19 in patients who are at high risk for progressing to severe symptoms and/or hospitalization.
Preliminary data shows that more than 6,600 Michiganders have received the treatment, with 65 percent reporting feeling better within two days of starting treatment and less than 5 percent requiring hospitalization following the treatment.
“When administered to non-hospitalized patients within 10 days of symptom onset, monoclonal antibodies may reduce symptoms and the risk of hospitalizations and emergency room visits associated with the virus,” said Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “Michiganders who contract COVID-19 should ask their health care providers about receiving this treatment and I urge providers to assess if their patients qualify. We have seen successful use of this therapy in long-term care facilities and even in home use by EMS providers. This therapy can help save the lives of more Michigan residents as we work to vaccinate 70 percent of Michiganders age 16 and older with the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine as quickly as possible.”
The therapy has been used successfully in long-term care facilities and to treat people at home. In the seven long-term care facility outbreaks, 120 vulnerable patients with high mortality rates were treated with mAb. Only three were hospitalized and one died.
The state issued an EMS protocol to allow paramedics to administer the medication through an intravenous infusion designed for patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 with mild to moderate symptoms.
The state is continuing to monitor and track patients within 14 days of the treatment to assess the impact and patient response.
More information can be found at www.michigan.gov/COVIDTherapy.