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Monoclonal antibody treatment site seeing about 150 COVID-19 patients a day, health officials say

Dr. Kim Onufrak believes the injection clinic has been successful and has kept a lot of people from having to end up in a hospital.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Public health district officials say that the infusion centers which have been up and running for over a month have been a huge success. The treatment involves monoclonal antibodies that are used to keep people with mild COVID-19 symptoms from ending up in the hospital. 

A line of people stood outside of the West Professional Plaza Wednesday wanting to get the treatment.  

Dr. Kim Onufrak is the Medical Director for the Health District and runs this site. She believes this injection clinic has been successful and has kept a lot of people from having to end up in a hospital.

"We probably see about 150 a day, so as of last week we probably did over 2000 infusions," Onufrak said. 

Onufrak said those who are COVID-19 positive and are having minor symptoms and are referred here for treatment will receive 4 injections of the antibodies. They also could end up going to the Regeneron site at the fairgrounds in Robstown, which is run by the state. There, they undergo an IV infusion of the two drugs which help people fight off the virus.

"We do think it’s working because fortunately we see a decline in COVID-19 admissions and that’s the important thing, Onufrak said. "Studies show that their Regeneron infusions keep about 70% of the people out of the hospital.”

And that’s a big deal since we were having over 400 people in the hospital with the virus.

"A week ago we were seeing our COVID hospitalizations over 400, now it’s below 400 so we think that in the past three weeks that we’ve been giving these infusions then it’s helping to see a decline in people having to be admitted with COVID," Onufrak said. 

The doctor says that these antibody injections are not a cure. They only give people protection for another 90 days. She points out that the real way to protect yourself and everyone else is to wear a mask and continue to say socially distanced. And she added the one thing that’s proven to be the most effective treatment against COVID-19 is the vaccine.