MURRAY, Utah — People at high-risk of becoming sick from COVID-19 may be able to receive help at a new facility now open in Murray designed to treat them through monoclonal antibody infusions.
It sits on the campus of the Intermountain Healthcare Employee Services Center, and will remain as long as needed to help treat vulnerable patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms.
Infusions given at the facility are lab-made proteins that help the immune system attack the virus. The Center will serve as a high volume site, treating up to 50 patients a day.
“The treatment works the best in preventing hospitalizations if we get it to those who are most at risk by this disease in terms of being hospitalized and even passing away,” said Dr. Michelle Hofmann, Deputy Director and Chief Medical Advisor at the Utah Department of Health.
Hospitals around the state have already started using the treatment; Intermountain Healthcare says approximately 7,100 Utahns have received it, possibly preventing 900 hospitalizations.
State leaders say that the key with this new center is identifying the medically frail people who will benefit most from the infusions so they can be treated quickly.
“If we had monoclonal antibodies more readily available, both those vaccinated and those unvaccinated, we could’ve reduced hospitalizations and stopped fatalities. And so that’s what we’re trying to do here, this is all about saving lives and helping out our healthcare workers reduce their workload," said Utah Senate President Stuart Adams.
Stuart says that infusions are provided by the federal government and will likely be available as long as they are needed.
“One of the challenges is, some medical providers don’t know about it and surely the public doesn’t know, but the more people that know about it, the more lives we’ll save.”