Starting October 25, monoclonal antibodies will be available to treat clinically appropriate patients who have contracted COVID-19, with the intent of preventing unvaccinated or severely immunosuppressed residents who have contracted COVID-19 from requiring hospitalization.
Monoclonal antibodies may be used in early treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 illness in unvaccinated patients who are deemed at-risk for progression to severe illness that would require hospitalization. This treatment uses laboratory-made antibodies (proteins) and is intended to give those with no prior antibodies to COVID-19 an initial immune response that may prevent serious illness. It may also be helpful in preventing severe COVID-19 illness in people with weakened immune systems who may not generate a robust response to the COVID-19 vaccines. This treatment is only effective in the very early phase of infection.
The decision to prescribe monoclonal antibodies will be made by the treating clinician, based on criteria established by the product monograph and the published clinical guidance:
For COVID-19 patients who have not been vaccinated; and certain immunocompromised or immunosuppressed COVID-19 patients regardless of vaccination status;
Within five days of becoming symptomatic; and 55 years or older, or 18 years and older with specific high risk co-morbidity.
Monoclonal antibody treatment is a one-time treatment, delivered intravenously.
These treatments will be available from Saskatoon and Regina only through existing SHA testing and treatment sites at this time. These locations are currently staffed and supplied to safely manage COVID-19 patients.
Initially, eligible patients will be identified through the case investigation process. Beginning November 1, people who test positive for COVID-19 can self-assess their eligibility for monoclonal antibodies by visiting Saskatchewan.ca/covid-19. If eligible, they will be directed on next steps for booking a further assessment. The final decision to prescribe monoclonal antibodies will be made by clinicians.
You cannot self-refer to an assessment site to receive monoclonal antibody treatment; you must be referred based on the eligibility criteria.
The SHA will continue to assess demand and appropriateness of treatment to determine if treatment will be expanded to other regions in the province.
Treatment for COVID-19 is Not a Substitute for Vaccination.
Contracting and being treated for COVID-19 does not offer an equivalent protection to vaccination. The best measure to prevent COVID-19 is to be fully vaccinated. Vaccination clinic information is available at Saskatchewan.ca/covid-19.
All patients receiving monoclonal antibodies will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination 90 days following treatment.
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