State Expands Access to COVID-19 Treatment for High-Risk Individuals

 — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has activated a state contract with SLSCO of Galveston, Texas, to provide monoclonal antibody (mAb) infusion treatment for 30 days at sites in the following counties: Jackson, Pettis, Scott, Butler, and Jefferson. This contract follows Governor Mike Parson’s August 11 announcement that $15 million would be committed to staffing, equipment, and supplies for the establishment of monoclonal antibody infusion stations across the state. 

"As the Delta variant continues to spread across the state and pose serious health risks to unvaccinated Missourians, our state teams are continuing to do everything possible to provide support and save lives," Governor Parson said. "It is our hope that these infusion centers will help relieve hospital strain and health care worker fatigue as we move forward with our efforts to get more Missourians vaccinated. Just as we have done from the beginning, we will continue to work with our partners to identify resource needs and respond to this virus."

Infusions began today at Truman Medical Center in Jackson County. Other sites will be implemented in the coming days. Two greater St. Louis area sites are also being planned and will be established at locations to be identified by St. Louis regional partners, including the St. Louis Pandemic Task Force. 

Site selection is being made in conjunction with regional and local partners. The state estimates the sites could treat up to 4,000 patients across the state in the 30-day timeframe.  

Monoclonal antibodies are proteins that can help your body fight off COVID-19 and reduce the risk of severe disease and hospitalization – if administered to high-risk patients soon after diagnosis. These antibodies mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful viruses like SARS-CoV-2, and they attack the virus and reduce its ability to spread through your body. For more information see Monoclonal Antibodies for COVID-19: Tips and Frequently Asked Questions.

Additionally, on Tuesday, DHSS published a standing order authorizing eligible health care providers to administer REGEN-COV, the treatment being used for mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization. Patients who could benefit from this treatment will need to be referred for treatment by an eligible health care provider.