Monoclonal Antibodies


About monoclonal antibodies (mAB)

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

mAB treatment with REGEN-COV (casirivimab administered together with imdevimab) is for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have mild to moderate symptoms and do not require supplemental oxygen. On June 25, 2021, the FDA halted national distribution of two previous mAB treatments: bamlanivimab and etesevimab together, as well as etesevimab separately, due to poor performance against some of the COVID-19 variants.
 
These treatments are authorized by the FDA under Emergency Use Authorizations while clinical studies continue to evaluate their usefulness and safety.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can get mAB treatment in Pima County?

Monoclonal antibody (mAB) treatment can be used by 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.
For questions about whether you can and should get antibody treatment, call your doctor or health care provider. If you do not have a doctor or health care provider, call the Pima County Department of Health (PCHD) at (520) 724-7770.

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. Early studies showed a decrease in the amount of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) in patients’ blood. Stud​ies are ongoing.

What are side effects of mAB for COVID-19?

Clinical studies are ongoing to evaluate the usefulness and safety of mAB treatment. Because REGEN-COV (casirivimab given with imdevimab) 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. The most commonly reported side effects in clinical studies with REGEN-COV included pneumonia, hyperglycemia, nausea and vomiting. Side effects reported most commonly in clinical trials with sotrovimab included rash and diarrhea.
 
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.

You can also learn more from the REGEN-COV Fact Sheet for Patients, Parents and Caregivers and the sotrovimab Fact Sheet for Patients, Parents and Caregivers.

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.

How do I get mAB for COVID-19?

Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about whether you should get antibody treatment and where you can get it. A health care provider must prescribe mAB infusions.

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.

How do I take mAB for COVID-19?

mAB therapy must be given into a vein by intravenous (IV) infusion. Antibodies may be administered only in settings where health care providers have immediate access to medications to treat any reactions and where emergency medical systems are available, if needed.

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 currently recommends that you wait 90 days after therapy to get vaccinated. If you receive antibody treatment for COVID-19 after receiving your first vaccine dose, you are advised to 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 antibody therapy.

Non-COVID-19-related antibody therapies (including intravenous or subcutaneous immunoglobulins, RhoGAM) for medical conditions other than COVID-19 are not believed to substantially impair vaccine protective response. Recipients of these therapies do not need to wait on vaccination and may schedule according to eligibility and 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:

The TMC antibody infusion center treats patients with mild to moderate symptoms who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are at high risk of severe illness or hospitalization.

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

Patients who test positive for COVID-19 and meet the criteria can be referred by their medical provider to receive the infusion treatment. 


Banner:

3950 S. Country Club Rd., Tucson, AZ 85714
Banner Health is accepting referrals for monoclonal antibody infusion therapy. If you have patient who may be eligible for treatment, you can refer a patient to one of our infusion centers for treatment. Banner antibody infusion center treats patients at their Abrams Public Health Center facility.

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

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 teleheatlh provider for a referral to one of our Banner Health infusion centers. 

If you have already discussed your positive COVID result with a healthcare provider but would still like to be evaluated for treatment. You can also schedule an appointment with Banner Urgent Care to be tested for COVID-19 and be evaluated for this treatment. 


Northwest Hospital: 

6200 N La Cholla Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85741
NW Hospital is administering mAB for COVID-19 in their Emergency Department. Patients must be an Emergency Department patient to receive the infusion. Not currently accepting any outside referrals.

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


Oro Valley Hospital:  

1551 E. Tangerine Rd., Tucson, AZ 85755
OV Hospital is administering mAB for COVID-19 in their Emergency Department. The patient must be seen as a patient in this Emergency Room and ER physicians will evaluate if the patient qualifies for mAB. At this time, mAB is only offered between 8AM to 8PM, due to pharmacy availability.

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

St.  Joseph’s

Not participating

St.  Mary’s:

Not participating

Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital:

Not participating

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
Follow Us Share this page

Health Department

3950 S. Country Club Road
Ste. 100
Tucson, AZ 85714

(520) 724-7770

Department Home
Department News
Department Directory
Feedback
Meetings
Calendar
Maps
Volunteer

phab logo