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Houston Methodist among providers offering monoclonal antibody treatment to anyone, regardless of risk level

Clinical trials found the antibody cocktail is very effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths in high-risk patients infected with the virus.

HOUSTON — Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody cocktail has been in high demand during this fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is the treatment Governor Greg Abbott received after testing positive for COVID-19 last month. It is commonly used for high-risk patients to prevent severe illness, but some doctors are giving it to anyone who tests positive.

“Even if you’re exposed, it’s open to the public,” said Dr. Ben Saldana, director of the ER at Houston Methodist.

Dr. Saldana said Methodist is giving IV antibody infusions to people who test positive and preventative shots to anyone exposed to the virus.

Memorial Village Emergency Room is another provider that won’t turn patients away if they have the virus and want the antibody cocktail. Dr. Amir Zegar said the freestanding ER is testing more than 200 people a day for COVID-19 and administering 10 to 12 infusions per day.

The facility is taking patients on a walk-in basis. Insurance covers the cost of the infusion.

Appointments are required at Houston Methodist. People who have been exposed to the virus are encouraged to sign up online. If appropriate, a prescription will be written by a physician after a telemedicine appointment.

“If you do get infected with COVID, because every new infection increases the risk of a new variant, we encourage folks to get the antibody infusion,” Dr. Saldana said.