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Monoclonal Antibodies


About monoclonal antibodies (mAB)

For questions about whether you can or should get mAB treatment, call your doctor or health care provider.

Antibodies are proteins that people’s bodies make to fight viruses, including the virus that causes COVID-19. Monoclonal antibodies (mAB) are laboratory-made proteins that fight viruses that mimic those made by the immune system.

Monoclonal antibody treatment may be a good option for people who meet certain criteria, to help strengthen their immune system, and fight off COVID-19.

An important note about mAB treatment

Monoclonal antibody (mAB) treatment is authorized by the FDA under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) while clinical studies continue to evaluate its usefulness and safety. 

The FDA issued EUAs for three separate mAB products to prevent patients at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19 disease from getting very sick and needing to be hospitalized.

The products REGEN-COV (casirivimab administered together with imdevimab) and bamlanivimab administered together with etesevimab are for the treatment of those 12 years and older who have tested positive, have mild to moderate symptoms, and who are at high risk for getting severe COVID-19. Additionally, REGEN-COV and bamlanivimab administered with etesevimab may be given for post-exposure prevention of COVID-19 for those at high risk for getting severe illness who also meet certain strict criteria. The product sotrovimab is for those 12 and older who test positive and are at high risk for severe disease progression. Treatment with mAB is not a substitute for vaccination.


COVID-19 mAB information for clinicians is available on the Health and Other Partners page.

Frequently Asked Questions

UPDATED SEPT. 30: Who can get mAB treatment in Pima County?

Monoclonal antibody (mAB) treatment with REGEN-COV may be used in people with mild to moderate COVID-19 who:

Monoclonal antibody (mAB) treatment is for use in people with mild to moderate COVID-19 who:
  • Test positive for SARS-CoV-2. 
  • Are within 10 days of the start of their symptoms. 
  • Are age 12 or older and weigh at least 88 pounds. 
  • Are at high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 or of needing to be admitted to a hospital because of COVID-19.
REGEN-COV (casirivimab administered together with imdevimab) and bamlanivimab administered together with etesevimab are also allowed for use as post-exposure prevention of illness in people who:
  • Are not fully vaccinated or who are not expected to mount an adequate immune response to complete COVID-19 vaccination (such as people with immunocompromising conditions, including those taking immunosuppressive medications) and
  • Have been exposed in close contact to an individual infected with SARS-CoV-2 or
  • Who are at high risk of exposure to a person infected with SARS-CoV-2 because of occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in other people in the same institutional setting (such as a nursing home or a prison).
For questions about whether you can or should get mAB treatment, call your doctor or health care provider. If you do not have a doctor or health care provider, please call the Pima County Department of Health (PCHD) at (520) 724-7770.

UPDATED SEPT. 30: Is mAB effective against COVID-19?

Clinical trials for mAB therapy showed COVID-19 patients who received this treatment ended up in the hospital and emergency room less often. Evidence suggests that they are effective against several circulating COVID-19 variants, including Delta. See more information in the latest treatment guidelines from the National Institutes of Health.

UPDATED SEPT. 30: What are side effects of mAB for COVID-19?

Clinical studies are ongoing to evaluate the usefulness and safety of mAB treatment. Because the three products REGEN-COV (casirivimab given with imdevimab), bamlanivimab given with etesevimab, and sotrovimab are investigational, they are still being studied and it is possible that not all risks and side effects are known yet.

The side effects of getting any medicine by vein may include brief pain, bleeding, bruising of the skin, soreness, swelling, and possible infection at the infusion site. Allergic reactions and a worsening of COVID-19 symptoms are also possible. For the possible side effects from each product/combination, see the FDA’s fact sheets for patients, parents and caregivers for REGEN-COV, bamlanivimab given with etesevimab, and sotrovimab

Because these are antibody treatments, it is possible that it could get in the way of your body’s own ability to fight off a future infection with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), or it could reduce your body’s immune response to a vaccine for COVID-19. Studies have not been done to understand these possible risks. Talk to your doctor or health care provider if you have any questions about the risks.

How much does mAB for COVID-19 cost?

Patients should work with their insurance provider and the hospital providing the treatment. Pima County is working to ensure that any location that gives antibody treatments is considered in network and covered by insurance. Information on Medicare coverage for mAB therapy can be found at CMS: Coverage of Monoclonal Antibody Products to Treat COVID-19.

UPDATED SEPT. 30: How do I get mAB for COVID-19?

Talk to your doctor or other health care provider about whether you should get antibody treatment and where you can get it. A health care provider must prescribe mAB infusions. If you do not have a doctor or health care provider, please call the Pima County Department of Health (PCHD) at (520) 724-7770.

How do patients in skilled nursing facilities get mAB for COVID-19?

Staff at the facility can contact the Pima County Health Department at congregatecare@pima.gov and staff will assist them in getting mAB treatment for their patients.

UPDATED SEPT. 30: How do I take mAB for COVID-19?

Monoclonal antibodies may only be administered in settings in which health care providers have immediate access to medications to treat a severe infusion or hypersensitivity reactions, such as anaphylaxis, and the ability to activate the emergency medical system if needed.

Depending upon the particular product used, and the medical setting in which it is given, antibody treatment is typically given to you into a vein (intravenously), but it may also be given as an injection under the skin (subcutaneously). When the products are used for prevention of disease after exposure, repeat doses may be given every several weeks.

UPDATED SEPT. 30: Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I have mAB for a COVID-19 infection?

If you received antibody therapy as part of treatment for a COVID-19 infection, the CDC advises that you wait 90 days after therapy to be vaccinated. If you receive antibody treatment for COVID-19 after receiving your first vaccine dose, you should wait 90 days before getting your second vaccine dose. This is to avoid any potential interference between the immune responses generated by the vaccine and responses generated by the antibody therapy.

Non-COVID-19-related antibody therapies (including intravenous or subcutaneous immunoglobulins, RhoGAM) for medical conditions other than COVID-19 infection are not thought to interfere with protective response from the vaccine. People receiving these therapies do not need to wait on vaccination and may get vaccinated according to their healthcare provider’s guidance.

Getting mAB for COVID-19 in Pima County

Because it is given as an IV, mAB treatment for COVID-19 is only available in certain clinical settings. This list may change.

Tucson Medical Center:

Not participating

Banner:

3950 S. Country Club Rd., Tucson, AZ 85714
Customer Care Center: 833-252-5535.
Banner Health is accepting referrals for monoclonal antibody infusion therapy. Physicians: If you have patient who may be eligible for treatment, you can refer a patient to one of Banner's infusion centers for treatment. Click here to learn more about the referral process. Banner antibody infusion center treats patients at its Abrams Public Health Center facility.

mAB type(s): casirivimab and imdevimab
Expected appointment length: 2.5 hours. 

Patients: If you think you meet the criteria for mAB for COVID-19, please contact your primary doctor or schedule an appointment with a Banner Urgent Care telehealth provider for a referral to a Banner Health infusion center. For more information, including about eligibility, visit Banner's website.

You can also schedule an appointment with Banner Urgent Care to be tested for COVID-19 and be evaluated for this treatment. 

Monoclonal graphicNorthwest Hospital: 

Not participating

Oro Valley Hospital:  

Not participating

St.  Joseph’s

Not participating

St.  Mary’s:

Not participating


Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital:

4455 S. I-19 Frontage Rd., Green Valley, AZ 85614
mABs are available. Please contact this facility for further information to confirm availability of mAB: 520-393-4700.

Sells:

Not participating

VA:

The V.A. hospital will coordinate mAB infusions for eligible patients, as appropriate.  If you are a Veteran and receive your healthcare from the V.A. in Tucson, please contact your primary care office if you have tested positive for COVID 19. 

More information on mAB & COVID-19

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