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What are monoclonal antibodies? Can they be used for treatment if I test positive for COVID-19?

Last Updated: 09/28/2021

Antibodies are proteins that our bodies make to fight viruses, such as the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibodies made in a laboratory act a lot like natural antibodies to limit the amount of virus in your body. They are called monoclonal antibodies.

The goal of this therapy is to help prevent hospitalizations, reduce viral loads, and lessen symptom severity.

Antibody treatment can be used by people with mild to moderate COVID-19 who:

  • Test positive for SARS-CoV-2.
  • Are within 10 days of the start of their symptoms.
  • Are age 12 or older and weigh at least 88 pounds.
  • Are at high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 or of needing to be admitted to a hospital because of COVID-19.

COVID-19 is a serious illness, so it is vital that residents who have symptoms get tested and talk to a healthcare provider about whether antibody therapy is right for them. This is especially important for those who are not vaccinated because an unvaccinated individual's risk of hospitalization is much greater than those who are vaccinated.

Source: https://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/documents/topics/NCOV/monoclonal-therapies.pdf; NJ Health Commissioner Persichilli's Remarks 9/15/21