Early COVID-19 infection treatment may be your best chance at avoiding the hospital, according to experts.
Now, one city in North Georgia has plans to offer the new treatment at it’s vaccine site.
As soon as Thursday the City of Dalton said COVID-19 positive patients will be able to drive through the Dalton City Convention Center parking lot to receive four injections of Regeneron.
Experts said its not a substitute for the vaccine but if you get this shot in time you could reduce your chances of needing hospital treatment.
“It’s probably at present the best tool we have for someone who is not vaccinated and someone who is vulnerable,” Dalton City Council member Annalee Harlan said.
Harlan said medical expert studies show, an antibody injection could save your life, if you test positive for COVID-19 regardless if you are vaccinated or not.
“Four injections all at the same time this is so this not something you have to come back for it happens all at one event,” Harlan said.
Regeneron has been clinically tested, it doesn’t require a prescription but its only been authorized for use by the FDA for positive patients ages 12 and up.
“If patients receive Regeneron monoclonal antibody therapy within the first few days of illness or of testing positive, there is less than a 5% chance that patients illness is going to escalate to possible hospitalization.”
The City of Dalton is now the first city government to offer the drug for free in their drive through vaccine site at the Dalton Convention Center.
Officials said as they remain under a state of emergency along with other hot spot areas in the state they hope other cities will jump on board.
“In Whitfield County in the last two weeks we have had 909 new cases of COVID-19 which is about 868 cases per capita.”
Dalton’s case rate is more than double of Fulton County and they have far less people.
Health experts said Regeneron most effective within the first seven days of testing positive.
“Clinical trials have demonstrated that early treatment with anti SARS COVID 2 monoclonal antibodies can reduce the risk of COVID-19 hospitalization, or death by 70-85%. It is important to emphasize that this must be done early in infection and not wait,” Chief Medical Expert Dr. Fauci said.
Dr. Fauci and other experts said its not a substitute for the vaccine.
Some hospitals across Georgia are offering it in the emergency as hospitals battle capacity.
The City of Dalton said it will be available for anyone who needs it regardless if you are a resident or not, but you will have to register for an appointment online with the City of Dalton.