MOBILE CO. (WALA)- The Mobile County Health Department announced they'll start offering another tool to help fight COVID-19: monoclonal antibodies, or lab created proteins that mimic the body's immune system to rapidly fight off a virus.

MCHD Epidemiologist Dr. Rendi Murphree said, "We're excited that that we can provide this service. It's a subcutaneous injection, it's a shorter needle, it goes into you between your skin and your muscle, so not into your vein. It is for injections, but it's not as scary as it sounds."

The treatment will be administered at the Dauphin Island Parkway Health Center at 2601 Dauphin Island Parkway in Mobile and it's free, but you do have to qualify to get it.

"If you're not vaccinated, and you test positive for COVID, and you are at high risk for severe disease, please call our appointment line at 251-690-8889," said Dr. Murphree.

You also have to be 12 years or older, weigh at least 88 pounds, not fully vaccinated or vaccinated but immunocompromised or on immunosuppressive

treatment.

A patient must have an appointment in order to enter the treatment clinic at the DIP Health Center.

It takes about an hour and a patient is given a total of four injections according to Dr. Murphree.

The Mobile County Health Department filled two initial orders for monoclonal antibodies before the state was put on an allotment because of a shortage of the treatment. Alabama's allotment was reduced by 25% last week. Dr. Murphree said they will have to reorder weekly but the state was able to fill about 1/3 of all provider orders for the week.

Other local hospitals have already been offering monoclonal antibody treatment. Check with your provider to see if you qualify.

All content © 2021, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.

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