Vials of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine sit on a table in a vaccination clinic in the Shepherd Union Atrium at Weber State University in Ogden on August 10. Utah health officials confirmed 1,724 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 deaths on Wednesday. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Department of Health announced on Wednesday the launch of a new COVID-19 antibody treatment center that authorities say will help prevent hospitalizations.
The Department of Health’s Monoclonal Antibody Infusion Center has opened on the Intermountain Healthcare Employee Service Center campus, 5245 College Drive, Murray.
“This deployable medical facility will serve as a high volume site, providing treatment for up to 50 patients per day and complementing monoclonal antibody infusions already underway in Utah hospitals,” health officials said. of the State in a press release.
Since last November, 7,100 residents have received infusions of monoclonal antibodies, which officials say has prevented about 900 hospitalizations.
“When properly identified and treated with monoclonal antibodies, 1 in 8 Utahns with the highest risk of serious illness from COVID-19 can avoid being hospitalized,” the health department said.
Utah Senate Speaker Stuart Adams R-Layton celebrated the opening of the center, saying in a statement he hopes it will “move the needle to reduce hospitalizations and save lives.”
Adams pointed to an Intermountain Healthcare study published in August. It found that 600 patients who received the drug were 57% less likely to need hospitalization compared to the 5,000 patients in the study who did not receive the treatment.
The treatment infuses a COVID-19 patient’s blood with antibodies that attach to the virus, as opposed to vaccines, which cause a person’s immune system to create its own antibodies. Monoclonal antibody therapy has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since December and has been in use in Utah since then, Intermountain doctors said in August.
Monoclonal antibody treatments are most effective in unvaccinated patients at higher risk of COVID-19 who are at the onset of their illness, the researchers said.
“It is our duty to do everything in our power to save as many lives as possible. We cannot condone treatment that will prevent additional hospitalizations and deaths. With treatment covered by the federal government, it removes any financial barriers the Utahns might feel when deciding to undergo treatment, ”Adams said.
“We must continue to work to make treatment widely available and convenient for the people of Utah. It is important that we take steps forward, not back, in our COVID-19 response and that hospitals are not not overwhelmed, ”he said, thanking healthcare workers for their efforts to care for patients.
Utah health officials on Wednesday confirmed 1,724 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 deaths.
School-aged children accounted for 371 of the new cases – 159 cases were between 5 and 10 years old, 94 cases were between 11 and 13 years old and 118 cases were between 14 and 17 years old, the health ministry said. Utah in a daily update.
The seven-day moving average for new cases now stands at 1,443, and the percent positivity rate of those tested is 13.7%.
Health workers have administered 6,048 vaccines since Tuesday’s report, bringing the total vaccinations given in Utah to 3,405,516 doses, the data showed.
In the past 28 days, unvaccinated residents faced 5.3 times the risk of dying from COVID-19, 7.2 times the risk of being hospitalized from the coronavirus, and 6.6 times more more likely to test positive than those vaccinated, state health officials said.
As of February 1, unvaccinated residents are 4.4 times more likely to die from COVID-19, 5.1 times more likely to be hospitalized due to illness, and 4.4 times more likely to people only test positive for COVID-19, data shows.
Since the vaccines became available earlier this year, the state has confirmed 15,470 breakthrough cases, 810 breakthrough hospitalizations and 99 breakthrough deaths. Cases are counted as breakthroughs if patients were fully vaccinated more than two weeks before testing positive for the coronavirus.
On Wednesday, 561 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Utah, a drop of 19 from the previous day. The referral intensive care units able to treat the most seriously ill patients were 93.9% full of patients with coronavirus and others; overall intensive care use was 91.9%; and non-ICUs across the state were 64.5% full.
One of the deaths reported Wednesday occurred before September. The latest deaths include:
- A man from Box Elder County, aged 65 to 84, who was hospitalized when he died.
- A woman from Box Elder County, over 85, a resident of a long-term care facility.
- Cache County woman, 65-84, not hospitalized.
- A Davis County man, 65-84, out of hospital.
- A Davis County woman, 65-84, a resident of a long-term care facility.
- Davis County man, 65-84, hospitalized.
- Salt Lake County man, 65-84, hospitalized.
- A woman from Salt Lake County, over 85, not hospitalized.
- A woman from San Juan County, 65-84, hospitalized.
- A man from Utah County, over 85, a resident of a long-term care facility.
- A woman from Utah County, aged 65 to 84, hospitalized.
- A man from Utah County, aged 65 to 84, hospitalized.