MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – We learn more about preventive treatment for the most vulnerable Minnesota residents in the fight against COVID-19.
Lisa Stackhouse is one of the few Minnesota residents to receive a newly approved monoclonal antibody therapy designed to protect people who are immunocompromised against COVID-19.
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“It’s been a long 21 months, but I feel like there’s light at the end of the tunnel now,” Stackhouse said.
Last week, the dual lung transplant recipient, who was himself in quarantine during the pandemic, received what is called Evusheld, a synthetic antibody that lasts about six months.
“It just feels like a blessing to be able to have a little bit of protection,” Stackhouse said.
Dr. Bryan Jarabek is a senior medical information officer at M Health Fairview.
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“People have actually figured out how to make an antibody that targets the COVID virus,” said Dr. Jarabek.
He says that Evusheld is for the patients who are most exposed to COVID-19.
“Where everyone else can get the vaccine and have that protection, these people do not have an immune system, so this is a big new benefit for them to get this treatment,” said Dr. Jarabek.
Right now, he says, it’s for people with a bone marrow or lung transplant or in active treatment for lymphoma or leukemia, like Betsy Gabler. Doctors diagnosed her in September last year. She says this allows her to get support while undergoing treatment.
“Just understanding the strength of being able to have a friend by you when you go through something,” Gabler said. “If you can have someone with you and feel confident about doing so, it really makes a big difference.”
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There is such a limited supply right now that M Health Fairview only distributes by invitation and prioritises by the most vulnerable patients. click here for more information. And click here for more information from the Minnesota Department of Health.