The United States purchased 600,000 additional doses of sotrovimab in the first quarter of 2022 which are to be distributed nationwide. Sotrovimab is an antibody treatment for COVID-19 that, according to preclinical data, actively fights Delta and Omicron variants of the virus.
Since antiviral medicines have become the dominant form of treatment, some individuals remain hesitant about this new form of treatment. To facilitate a better understanding, here is a beginner’s guide to antibody treatments for COVID.
What Are Antibody Treatments for COVID?
Antibodies are proteins that chemically combine with foreign substances in the body – such as viruses and bacteria. They are produced by the immune system and help the body fight infection and diseases.
Sotrovimab is a neutralizing monoclonal antibody (nMAb) treatment for COVID-19. The treatment helps affected individuals manage their symptoms and decrease the risk of becoming seriously ill.
How Does Sotrovimab Work?
Sotrovimab works by releasing nMAbs into the body. These are synthetic proteins that imitate human antibodies in the immune system. Scientists create nMAbs by cloning antibodies that are shown to stick to the spike protein of the COVID-19 virus and fight against it.
By sticking to the virus, nMAbs prevent it from spreading to the lungs and furthering the infection. This means the body is more able to fight the virus and recover faster. Once the body eliminates the virus, sotrovimab prevents reinfection for a minimum of four weeks.
Sotrovimab is a single-dose intravenous (IV) infusion monoclonal antibody treatment. This means it’s administered through a drip in the arm and requires only one dose. This method ensures the medicine is given at an even rate, rather than too slow or too fast. The standard dose for sotrovimab is 500 milligrams (mg).
It’s important to note that the infusion process takes at least 30 minutes and patients must remain a further 30 minutes after the infusion for close monitoring. Doses are administered at local health centers or hospitals.
Who Can Have Antibody Treatments?
Antibody treatments for COVID-19 are accessible to most adults and children aged 12 or over who’ve had a positive PCR test or coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms within the last 5 days.
However, healthcare centers usually administer antibody treatments to high-risk groups who are more at risk when it comes to infection. Some high-risk individuals include those with:
- HIV or AIDS
- Down’s syndrome
- Sickle cell disease
- An organ transplant
- Certain types of cancer
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Chronic kidney disease (CKD) ate stage 4 or 5
- A severe liver condition
- A rare condition affecting the brain or nerves
- A condition or treatment that makes you susceptible to infections
It’s also important to note that you may be considered high-risk if you’ve had certain types of chemotherapy in the last 12 months or radiotherapy in the last six months.
Antibody treatment is denied to anyone who has previously had an allergic reaction to sotrovimab or who is pregnant or breastfeeding.
Sotrovimab affects every individual differently yet, in most cases, side effects are limited to a mild allergic reaction. This includes symptoms such as:
- Itchy rash
- Redness and warm skin
However, these symptoms typically only last for the first 24 hours after the treatment and go away on their own. It’s essential that you call a doctor or nurse if they remain or bother you. If you experience any of these symptoms immediately after your dosage, contact a family member or friend to meet you at the facility.