Free treatment in San Diego County reduces effects of COVID but not enough people using it, officials say

California
Rachel Marrs (L) gives the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine shot to Michelle Gaano a Registered Nurse at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, California on December 15, 2020. (ARIANA DREHSLER / AFP via Getty Images)

Rachel Marrs (L) gives the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine shot to Michelle Gaano a Registered Nurse at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, California on December 15, 2020. (ARIANA DREHSLER / AFP via Getty Images)

There is a free treatment available in San Diego County that can significantly minimize the severity of COVID-19, and even prevent death, but not enough people are taking advantage of it, officials say.

Drugs containing coronavirus monoclonal antibodies have increasingly shown an ability to pick off the pathogen before it gets the chance to cause critical cases of COVID-19.

The county health department — which in April opened a free monoclonal clinic in Chula Vista, one of California’s hardest-hit cities, in cooperation with the state and San Ysidro Health — has treated only 49 patients in the last 30 days. This is fewer than expected, given that a similar arrangement in Escondido has dosed 247.

The surge in fully vaccinated residents over the past few months has something to do with the overall decrease in the use of monoclonals. Fewer people are getting sick with COVID, and those who do after becoming vaccinated are less likely to be severely affected.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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