The coronavirus is named for its spikes, or “crown.” (Image courtesy of Pixabay)
A state program helped launch COVID-19 monoclonal antibody sites in North Idaho and East Idaho. Now, it’s Boise’s turn.
A company called Medical Directors of Idaho is now administering the treatments at Direct COVID Care in Boise. Patients must be referred by a health care provider, within 10 days of symptom onset. Urgent care or primary care providers can send the order directly to the Direct COVID Care clinic.
Appointments may be available as soon as the same day or next day, according to a news release Monday. The treatments are given at no cost to the patient, and health insurance isn’t required.
The facility opened earlier this month at 3115 Sycamore Drive, in the old Good Samaritan building. It can treat up to 100 patients per week, ages 12 years and older, according to a news release Tuesday from Central District Health.
People age 65 and over, pregnant, overweight or who have a chronic medical condition are at higher risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death. They may qualify for the treatment.
“While this treatment is not meant to replace vaccinations to prevent COVID, it has been proven as an effective treatment for COVID-infected patients to decrease hospitalization and death,” the release said.
The treatment is authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration. Clinical trials showed monoclonal antibodies could reduce hospitalizations and deaths by 70%.
“The treatment can also be used as post-exposure prophylaxis after exposure to COVID-19 in people who are at risk of severe progression of the illness,” CDH Medical Director Dr. Sandy Mudge said in the department’s news release.
The clinic is operated by Dr. Ryan Williams, a local health care provider.
“As a hospital physician, I have firsthand experience of the suffering that has occurred with the recent COVID surge causing our great state to declare Crisis Standards of Care,” Williams said in the clinic’s news release. “Reducing the disease burden with the number of COVID-associated hospitalizations in our community is the key to moving out of Crisis Standards of Care and will benefit our entire community” by restoring full access to health care.
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