New treatments also available, but have been under-utilized, county says
Source: County of San Diego
May 11, 2022 (San Diego) – If you have moderate or severe immunosuppression, or if you’d have a severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine, Evusheld can reduce your risk of getting COVID by up to 77%. Evusheld is a monoclonal antibody injection. Eligible people locally include:
- Patients receiving active cancer treatment,
- Organ transplant recipients taking medicine to suppress the immune system,
- People with moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome),
- Those with advanced or untreated HIV infection,
- People taking high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress their immune response.
Evusheld can be found throughout San Diego at hospital systems, medical groups, and community health centers using the therapeutics locator, and at Family Health Centers of San Diego by completing a treatment request form. For more information, call ASPR at 1-800-232-0233.
If you are at risk for severe complications and you test positive for COVID-19, it is important to get treatment right away, even if your initial symptoms are mild. Factors associated with a higher risk for Severe COVID-19 include:
- Age 65+
- Body mass index (BMI) ≥ 25
- Physical inactivity
- Chronic heart, kidney, lung, and liver conditions
- Neurologic conditions such as dementia
- Smoking (current and former)
- Use of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive medications
COVID-19 treatment options are available in San Diego for those who are not hospitalized. They should be utilized as soon as possible after testing positive (within 5-7 days depending on the treatment), even if your symptoms are mild.
The two treatments described below are both available at the Monoclonal Antibody Regional Centers (MARCs) by calling 619-685-2500. The doctor at the MARC will talk to the patient and decide together which option is best. You may also reach out to your own physician.
Paxlovid Oral Therapy - First Line of Therapy
Paxlovid is an oral antiviral medication to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 in high-risk outpatient adults and children over 12, weighing at least 40kg. Paxlovid reduces the relative risk of hospitalization and mortality by up to 88%. Paxlovid must be started within 5 days of the onset of symptoms.
Paxlovid requires a prescription. You may contact your doctor or clinic to discuss whether Paxlovid is appropriate for you. The therapeutics locator identifies pharmacies and community health centers that may carry Paxlovid. Also, it is now available at all Monoclonal Antibody Regional Centers (MARCs) by calling 619-685-2500.
Bebtelovimab Intravenous - Minimum 30 Second Infusion
If you have mild or moderate COVID-19, you may be able to receive outpatient monoclonal antibody treatment. It can reduce your symptoms and help you recover faster and avoid hospitalization. Monoclonal antibody treatment for mild to moderate COVID-19 reduces risk of hospitalization and death 70% in those with a risk of progression to severe COVID-19. Bebtelovimab must be started within 7 days of the onset of symptoms.
Bebtelovimab is available at the Monoclonal Antibody Regional Centers (MARCs) located throughout San Diego County to medically eligible individuals who are 12 years of age and older.
Call your doctor first to find out if they offer monoclonal antibody treatment. Please do not go to the emergency department just to seek antiviral treatment, monoclonal antibody treatment, or COVID-19 testing. Our emergency departments should be reserved for people with emergency medical conditions.
If your doctor or health system does not offer treatment, the County and its partners have several Monoclonal Antibody Regional Centers (MARCs) where you can get treatment at no cost regardless of health insurance or immigration status. You may call the MARC sites at (619) 685-2500 to schedule an appointment. You must make an appointment by phone.
Bebtelovimab can also be found at other sites using the therapeutics locator.
Prevention efforts and timely treatment saves lives and reduces the severity of illness. For more information on COVID-19 prevention and treatment, visit Treatment (sandiegocounty.gov). Please share this information widely!