COVID-19 vaccinations have been permitted in skilled nursing facilities since December 2020. Additionally, new research is indicating a combination of monoclonal antibody therapies is also effective against coronavirus. Research shows a combination of drugs is more effective treatment instead of a single-drug prescription. McKnight’s reports federal health officials are advising skilled nursing operators to use this new combination therapy for residents.
Meredith Chuk, M.D. who is currently leading the COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Therapeutics team within the Federal COVID Response team stated that with “vaccines more widely available and that a lot of patients in long-term care will have been vaccinated, we would like to see, not necessarily an ‘either-or’ approach, but an ‘and’ approach.”
While the use of bamlanivimab, an investigational monoclonal antibody therapy, was stopped last month by the Food and Drug Administration, the use of two alternative combination monoclonal antibody therapies is still permitted. Those are casirivimab with imdevibab and bamlanivimab with etesevimab. It is reported that the coronavirus was resistant to bamlanivimab alone.
These therapies are covered by Medicare which make them ideal for nursing home residents. These treatments were first administered earlier this year and have shown to reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus by 80%.
Chuk believes these therapeutics can “really reduce the hospitalizations in our high-risk patients” and are beneficial to those in group settings like long-term facilities residents.