The first challenge is finding a location to infuse the monoclonal antibodies. Although they can be given subcutaneously, the dose is large and little, if any, time is saved as the recommendation is for observation post administration for 1 hour. The challenge we and other centers may face is that the patients are COVID PCR+ and therefore our usual infusion program, which often is occupied by individuals already compromised and at high risk for severe COVID, is an undesirable location. We are planning to use the emergency department to accommodate such patients currently, but even that solution creates challenges for a busy, urban medical center.
Anti–SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies are an important part of the therapeutic approach to minimizing disease severity. Clinicians should review high-risk conditions in adolescents who are PCR+ for SARS-CoV-2 and have mild to moderate symptoms. Medical care systems should implement programs to make monoclonal infusions available for such high-risk adolescents.4 Obesity and asthma reactive airways or requiring daily medication for control are the two most common conditions that place adolescents with COVID-19 at risk for progression to hospitalization and severe disease in addition to the more traditional immune-compromising conditions and medical fragility.
Dr. Pelton is professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at Boston University schools of medicine and public health and senior attending physician in pediatric infectious diseases, Boston Medical Center. Email him at.
1.: Monoclonal Antibody Clinical Implementation Guide. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2021 Sep 2.
2. Bhimraj A et al.. Last updated 2021 Nov 9.
3.. National Institutes of Health’s COVID 19 Treatment Guidelines. Last updated 2021 Oct 19.
4., by Hannah R. Buchdahl. CDC Foundation, 2021 Jul 2.