Physicians urged to refer at-risk COVID patients for monoclonal antibody treatment

The Maryland Department of Health is urging physicians to refer at-risk coronavirus patients for monoclonal antibody treatment. The treatment, which was approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration, reduces the severity of coronavirus symptoms in those at high risk of developing a serious illness from the virus.


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The treatment isn’t administered in a hospital, said Dr. Jinlene Chan, acting Maryland Department of Health deputy secretary for public health services. It’s an outpatient treatment that takes about an hour and is administered intravenously.

“It’s for those who test positive for COVID and have mild symptoms, but have risk factors that indicate they may develop serious illness from the virus.”

So far, about 3,000 individuals have received treatments in the state, Chan said. Maryland is in the process of ramping up its systems to make this treatment more available.

“We currently have 11 sites and are adding more, so there will be more access.”

The state is now using the online portal CRISP so providers can more efficiently refer COVID-19 patients for monoclonal treatment at various sites around the state.

The treatment is available for those who are high risk of developing complications, which includes people over 65 years of age or older or those with certain chronic medical conditions. Treatment includes a single, one-hour intravenous infusion which is followed by an hour of observation. It is available at:


●       Adventist HealthCare Takoma Park

●       Atlantic General Hospital

●       Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital

●       MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center

●       Meritus Health

●       Peninsula Regional-Tidal Health

●       UPMC Western Maryland 


The state is also working with pharmacies at nursing homes to expand offerings in those locations. Also, several dialysis centers are now offering the treatment.

Streamlining the referral process is important because time is of the essence, Chan said.

“We want to make the referral process as easy as possible because the treatment needs to be administered within 10 days of the onset of symptoms.”

A study in late 2020 showed this type of treatment to be ineffective in treating hospitalized patients.