Pandemic in India is at a stage when infections are down but not out. We are far away from vaccinating the whole population. We need to still think about treating the infected population.
One of the newer therapies which have been just introduced in India in the last week is monoclonal antibody therapy. Antibodies are produced by the vaccines and they protect us from getting infected but there are groups of people who are immunosuppressed either because of certain diseases like cancer or are on immunosuppressive therapy they may not form antibodies after vaccination. Then there are people who are infected so cannot get vaccines. These are the group of people who can be given antibodies from outside.
Antibodies are formed in the lab against the COVID virus and can be injected. This has shown that these antibodies can neutralize the virus.
A trial was done where patients who are infected with the COVID-19 virus and are at high risk due to – advanced age, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, then are more likely to develop serious COVID and may need hospitalization or may even die. These people were given antibody cocktails and the results of the trial showed that these people have a greater than 70% reduction in their risk of developing serious disease or death. This antibody cocktail also decreases viral load thus prevents the spread of the virus.
These antibodies cocktail are mixtures of antibodies against the different components of the virus and they are effective against all variants of virus present at the moment his can decrease your risk of progressing to severe disease, hospitalization, or death.
It can also shut down your production of the virus, making you less infectious. So if it was used widely enough, it would actually decrease the spread and potentially decrease the spread of these variants, because the more these variants spread, the more we can get second, and third, and fourth-generation variants.
These antibodies can be used to prevent infection as well in close household contacts. The people who live in the sane house with an infected person and are at high risk of getting infected.
This cocktail can be used in immunosuppressed individuals who will never be protected by the vaccine and keep them from getting the infection in the future.
This antibody is given in the vein of the patient thus mostly it is given in the hospital setting, a new version is being tried which can be given just underneath the skin.