Your Location: Set Your Location
See services nearest you.
Essentia Health Menu
Home > About Us > Media Article Library > New COVID-19 treatment offered more broadly at Essentia Health
Published on February 08, 2021
Essentia Health is offering a new treatment for people diagnosed with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk for severe complications and hospitalization.
The drug, called bamlanivimab, is a monoclonal antibody recently authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It must be given within 10 days of the start of symptoms and as soon as possible after a positive COVID-19 test.
Patients must meet certain criteria set by the FDA to qualify for the treatment. There is a limited supply of bamlanivimab so it is being allocated by federal and state agencies.
More than 200 appointments are available each week across Essentia Health. The therapy is offered at these locations:
People who have a positive COVID-19 test at any Essentia Health site are automatically screened for the FDA’s criteria. Those who were tested at other sites can call a toll-free hotline at 1-833-769-1524 to be screened. Hotline hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Health care providers can refer a patient by calling Essentia Health’s STAT Doc line.Due to the limited supply of the drug, eligible patients are randomly chosen by a computer for treatment, says Dr. Amanda Noska, an Essentia Health infectious disease physician. Those patients are contacted by a registered nurse from Essentia Health and then scheduled for an exam and an intravenous infusion. Randomized selection is an ethical method for choosing who gets access to the treatment, said Dr. Noska.
Bamlanivimab treatment has been authorized by the FDA for patients age 12 or older who are at high risk for severe complications and/or hospitalization. Children must weigh at least 40 kilograms or 88 pounds.
Qualified patients include those who:
Monoclonal antibodies are lab-made proteins that help the body protect itself against viruses. Bamlanivimab is made specifically to act against the COVID-19 virus.
Like the COVID-19 vaccines, bamlanivimab is investigational. That means it is not yet approved by the FDA for any conditions and is still being tested in research studies. It has, however, been authorized by the FDA for use during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency determined it is reasonable to believe bamlanivimab may be effective in certain patients. In one trial study, it was found to lower the possibility patients needing an emergency room or hospital visit.
The FDA defined high risk as patients who meet at least one of these criteria:
To coordinate interviews, photos, and/or video, contact the media relations team.