Michigan will expand the use of a COVID-19 treatment in hopes of substantially reducing climbing hospitalizations and deaths, state officials announced Wednesday as they continued to confront the nation's highest infection rate.
Additional doses of monoclonal antibodies will be given to hospitals and other providers, which will be asked to expand the number of infusion sites. The treatment, delivered intravenously, has concentrated doses of lab-made antibodies to fight coronavirus infections and is geared toward people who are at high risk for severe symptoms or having to be hospitalized.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the treatment could save lives. Preliminary data suggests more than 6,600 residents have been treated with the medicine, with 65% reporting feeling better within two days and under 5% requiring hospitalization following treatment.
“Michiganders who contract COVID-19 should ask their health care providers about receiving this treatment, and I urge providers to assess if their patients qualify,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state's chief medical executive. “We have seen successful use of this therapy in long-term care facilities and even in home use by EMS providers.”