A lot of people have asked, and since I have done some amount of personal research on this here’s what I’ve learned about the various monoclonal antibody treatments.
Due to a close-contact Covid exposure before Christmas, my transplant team recommended I get a monoclonal treatment. They sent me to the Florida State-run free monoclonal infusion website and I made an appointment and went last Wednesday and got the Regen-Cov infusion.
Currently in the US (as of 1/5/2022), there are four different approved monoclonal antibody infusions:
Regeneron – REGEN-COV (Casirivimab and Imdevimab) – 4 injections, each arm and 2 in stomach
Eli Lily – (Bamlanivimab and Etesevimab) – Administered via IV.
GlaxoSmithKlein – (Sotrovimab) – Administered via IV
As of last week, Florida was only distributing Regeneron and the Eli Lily brands. The GSK one is the version that data points to being the most effective against Omicron, but you can’t just assume you know which variant you have or been exposed to. Unless you’re doing some fancy test that the rest of us don’t have access to, the particular flavor of Covid anyone has is an unknown. While Omicron is the most common out there at the moment, there is still plenty of Delta around.
The AstraZeneca one isn’t recommended for people who have Covid or been exposed, but as a preventative for immunocompromised people who for whatever reason can’t do vaccines.
Like I said, I got the Regeneron 4 shot injection. After the injections I waited in the waiting area for about 30 minutes for observation before I was told I could leave. I didn’t notice any side effects at all.
I’ll admit it…I do live in fear. But I don’t think it’s the same kind fear as what the anti-mask crowd is calling “living in fear.”
I am afraid that if anyone I love or care about falls ill because of COVID-19 (or any highly communicable disease for that manner), that I won’t be able to be with them when they need comfort the most.
Having spent more time than I imagined in a hospital from March-May while waiting for a life-saving liver transplant, I know all too well how much having visitors helped keep my spirits up. Social media certainly helps, but there is nothing like being able to hold someone’s hand or hug them or just simply watch a movie together. To have someone bring me a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake or a Smoothie, drop off some comic books, some Twizzlers, Dinner from Maxines’s, play some guitar for me…anything from the outside world… helped.
The sterile environment of a hospital room can be a very lonely place.
And it’s a very scary place, especially because you’re there because you’re sick and not because you want to be. And despite having the best care and the most wonderful doctors and nurses, they can’t replace your friends and family.
When I first went to the hospital there were no limitations to who could visit me or even when. If someone didn’t get off work until 2am they could come see me in the middle of the night. I could have 4 people visit at the same time…the only limit was how many people could fit in the room and how many I had the energy for in any given day.
But as Covid-19 appeared, restrictions started happening. Visiting hours became limited as did the number of visitors. At one point it came down to one approved visitor per day and so I literally had to choose. But at least I still had a choice.
COVID patients don’t even have that luxury. They are prevented from having ANY visitors. Their interactions are limited to FaceTime or Zoom meetings or maybe a live visit through a glass window. They are at possibly the most vulnerable, helpless time of their life…possibly the end…and yet can not even find a tiny bit of comfort from the presence of the people they love.
That’s my fear. And any time I hear someone who mocks that fear by saying that we are acting out of “media-induced fear-mongering” or that “Covid is a hoax” or anything like that it just makes me sad. Because I know that they must not have ever experienced true loss or felt love. Theirs is a much more deep-rooted fear that I don’t and will never fully understand. Wear a damn mask!
The DNA testing company 23 and Me has been using their massive data sets to assist scientists with analysis in how COVID-19 spreads and if genetic factors play a role in determining how likely someone is to get infected and how severe the infection will be.
While not definitive, some of their early data seems to confirm that blood type may be a factor in transmission and immunity.
“In percentages, in the entire population, individuals with blood group O were 9-18% less likely to test positive when compared to other groups. “Exposed” individuals with blood group O were 13-26% less likely to test positive.”