San Diegans Can Take Advantage of Free COVID-19 Treatment

“Not as many people are aware that early treatment is available with a single infusion”

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Empty beds, shut-off monitors, and cabinets full of unused PPE materials are what you'll find at one of the two monoclonal clinics in San Diego county being run by San Ysidro Health. 

“We absolutely want to be able to treat more people," said Jennifer Tuteur, MD, deputy chief medical officer for San Diego county.

Tuteur says monoclonal antibody treatments prevent people who have contracted the virus from getting really sick. 

“It is preventing people from getting hospitalized, it's preventing mortality, it's getting people back to work faster,” Tuteur said.

Monoclonals are man-made copies of protective antibodies found in the blood of patients who successfully fought off the coronavirus. 

“It’s a single IV infusion of these monoclonal antibodies that prevent people from getting serious effects of covid,” Tuteur said.

So why aren't more people taking advantage of the potentially life-saving treatment?

“Not as many people are aware that early treatment is available with a single infusion,” Tuteur said.

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In addition to that, there are also fewer people getting sick due to the surge in vaccinated residents. And those who do get sick after becoming vaccinated experience milder symptoms. However, Tuteur says those patients can still benefit from this treatment. 

“They can come in, get treated, get that infusion, and mostly by the next day they feel better, can go back to work and they never get really sick from covid," Tuteur said.

According to the staff at the clinic, only about 50 patients have been treated since the clinic opened its doors last month. 

The treatment is free and available to everyone over the age of 12, regardless of immigration status. 

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