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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Talking about COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibodies

Tips for Talking with COVID-19 Outpatients and COVID-19 Exposed Individuals about COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibodies

FDA Emergency Use Authorizations allow healthcare providers to administer monoclonal antibodies:

  • For use as post-exposure prophylaxis of COVID-19 to individuals who are high-risk, were in close contact with an infected individual and are at high risk of exposure to an individual infected with SARS-CoV-2, OR are not fully vaccinated or who are not expected to mount an adequate immune response to complete SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.

  • To outpatients who have experienced the onset of mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 10 days, have tested positive for COVID-19, and have one or more of the high-risk factors listed below.

The following tips are for use with patients and individuals in the above two circumstances. FDA has also granted an EUA for a monoclonal antibody for treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients.

Tips for Talking with High-Risk patients about Monoclonal Antibody Treatment

  • Talk about receiving the treatment quickly. Post-exposure prophylactic treatment of high-risk individuals should occur within 96 hours of a household member testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 or as soon as possible following exposure to SARS-CoV-2. For COVID-19 patients, treatment must be given within 10 days after COVID-19 symptoms appear.

  • Inform individuals who are considering prophylactic treatment that the treatment will make them less likely to become infected from exposure to a person who has COVID-19. Let high-risk COVID-19 patients know that early treatment with monoclonal antibodies may help them avoid progressing to more severe disease or hospitalization.

  • Discuss the availability and potential benefits of monoclonal antibody treatment during routine in-person or telehealth visits with high-risk outpatients. This allows patients to learn about the treatment prior to potential COVID-19 infection or exposure when they may be under stress or ill.

  • Share key facts:
    • Monoclonal antibody treatments are authorized by the FDA.
    • Data from clinical trials indicates that treatments may reduce hospitalizations for high-risk COVID-19 outpatients. Prophylactic use may reduce the likelihood of infection from exposure to a person who has COVID-19.
    • Treatments are generally available at little or no cost to eligible outpatients.

  • This page last reviewed: August 20, 2021