GMH has 50 doses of antibody COVID medication

The decades-old Guam Memorial Hospital will soon be replaced by a new public hospital. (PNC file photo)

The Guam Memorial Hospital is doling out 50 doses of antibody COVID medication meant to treat positive individuals who have co-morbidities.

Lillian Perez-Posadas, GMH Administrator, said: “It’s a monoclonal antibody that we transfuse into individuals that meet the criteria of having tested positive, within 10 days and who are at high risk of developing further acuity with the COVID-infection.”

Essentially what that means is out-patients who have been confirmed for COVID-19 and have underlying health issues like lung disease or diabetes would get this IV medicine of antibodies, giving them more strength to fight off the virus.

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The patients are still COVID-positive and infectious; they definitely still need to isolate.

The point of this antibody treatment is to lessen hospitalization by giving high-risk people the medical strength to fight off the disease themselves before getting to the point of needing acute care.

The GMH administrator says they’re starting to administer the drug as of today.

“We received a shipment of 50 doses and so, it depends on the criteria of those who come into the ER and we test them … if they meet the criteria and they consent to it, then they get the transfusion,” Perez-Posadas said.

She added: “We want to make sure that they don’t have a (bad) reaction. So, once they’re over that 2-hour observation they can go home. It’s really for out-patients, it’s not an in-patient treatment.”

The drug is called Bamlanivimab is an Eli Lilly pharmaceutical product.

The 50 doses will mean 50 people can get the antibody medicine. But more will come to the hospital based on need. Perez Posadas says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services procured the product for distribution throughout the US healthcare systems, including Guam and other US territories.

The drug has received the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization.

“We need whatever we can get in terms of treatment, in terms of tools to reduce the transmission, reduce the acuity stage of these individuals, needing to be hospitalized, needing oxygen, needing ventilators … and hopefully reduce the fatalities,” Perez-Posadas said.