Sumary of Hawaii Department of Health announces federal teams will assist with COVID-19 antibody treaments statewide:
- The Hawaii Department of Health today announced that a federal team of 30 clinicians will arrive in the state later this month to help administer monoclonal antibody therapy to COVID-19 patients.
- Officials emphasized, however, that monoclonal antibody therapy is not a substitute for vaccination against COVID-19. “Targeted use of monoclonal antibodies could keep Hawaii COVID-19 patients from developing severe illness that requires hospitalization,” said Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char in a news release.
- “However, COVID-19 vaccination remains the most effective way to create long-lasting immunity and prevent severe illness and death.
- Numerous hospitals and health centers statewide, including Hilo Medical Center, Kona Community Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, Queen’s Medical Center West, Maui Memorial Health Center, Straub, and Wilcox Medical Center on Kauai, among others, have been offering monoclonal antibodies to COVID patients.
- Hilo Medical Center first used the treatment for hospitalized patients, including long-term care patients, last year, with good outcomes, said spokeswoman Elena Cabatu.
- Hilo Medical Center has also been operating beyond capacity for the past three weeks, she said, with 38 COVID patients in-house on Friday, in addition to 12 long-haulers that are no longer contagious, but still very sick.
- There are 19 intensive care unit patients at the hospital although there are only 11 beds in ICU, she said, so they are being placed in other areas, including a third floor unit and the emergency department.
- 19. DOH said six teams will be stationed at hospitals or federally qualified health centers across the state, administering treatments, which require monitoring and the ability to respond to reactions or other medical events, seven days a week.