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KDMC a regional monoclonal antibody therapy center

King’s Daughters Medical Center has been designated one of 52 Regional Monoclonal Antibody Therapy Centers for the state of Kentucky.

Monoclonal antibody therapy is an emergency treatment for COVID-19 patients which, when given within the first seven days of illness, can reduce the risk of the disease progressing to severe illness.

“Although monoclonal antibody therapy is an important tool in the early treatment of patients with COVID, people should not make the mistake of thinking it’s a 100% cure or a substitute for vaccination,” said King’s Daughters Chief Medical Officer Charbel Salem, M.D., “It is not. This is an Emergency Use Authorized (EUA) therapy that can only be used early in the course of the disease. It is not as effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death as vaccination is.”

Monoclonal antibodies are produced in the laboratory and function like natural antibodies made by the body in response to immunization or infection. The antibodies bind to a specific molecule on a virus, preventing it from entering the host cells and replicating. This helps prevent the virus from overwhelming the patient’s immune system as it learns to recognize and develop natural antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.

As the number of COVID cases has surged across the U.S., the demand for this therapy has also spiked, creating shortages. Because of this, the focus now is on providing the therapy to those who are sick to the exclusion of those who have simply been exposed, Salem noted.

“We strongly recommend anyone who has a positive COVID-19 test and has symptoms connect with their primary care provider as early as possible after the onset of symptoms with a positive COVID test,” Salem said. Monoclonal antibody therapy cannot be given more than seven days after initial diagnosis and patients must meet other criteria to be eligible.

Those who do not have a primary care provider but have received a positive test result are asked to call King’s Daughters Care 24/7 service at (606) 408-8999 or toll free at 1-844-324-2200 to schedule a telehealth visit.

Monoclonal antibody therapy is an unapproved drug that has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of COVID-19.

Additional treatment centers in our region include St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead; Three Rivers Medical Center in Louisa; Pikeville Medical Center in Pikeville; and Lewis County Primary Care Center in Vanceburg.

“While we are very happy to be able to provide this important therapy to our communities,” Salem said, “we absolutely encourage people to get vaccinated. The best strategy for everyone is to stop the virus before it makes you sick. This means getting vaccinated, social distancing, avoiding crowds and wearing masks.

“We know how to beat this disease. We just need to do it.”

To schedule a vaccination appointment, please call (606) 408-COVD. Vaccination is available at the following locations:

  • Drive-Thru Center, 2406 Carter Ave., Ashland – Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson
  • King’s Daughters Drive-Thru Center, 812 Spring Lane, Portsmouth – Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson
  • KD Primary Care Flatwoods, 2420 Argillite Road – Pfizer, Moderna
  • KD Family Care Center Grayson, 100 Bellefonte Drive – Pfizer, Moderna
  • KD Primary Care Greenup, 1629 Ashland Road – Moderna
  • KD Prestonsburg, 1279 Old Abbott Mountain Road – Pfizer, Moderna
  • KD Family Care Center Wheelersburg, 8750 Ohio River Road – Pfizer, Moderna

Drop-in first-dose vaccination is available at our Flatwoods, Grayson, Greenup, Prestonsburg and Wheelersburg locations. Vaccination is free.