Ga. city council approves monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-positive jail inmates

The treatment can reduce the risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19 by 70% to 85%

By Charles Oliver
The Daily Citizen
DALTON, Ga. — Inmates at the Whitfield County jail who test positive for COVID-19 now have access to a treatment that can dramatically reduce their chances of hospitalization or death.

The Dalton City Council voted 3-0 Tuesday to approve a memorandum of understanding with Whitfield County that will give the jail access to the city's Regeneron monoclonal antibody treatment for the disease. 

"We plan to put this to good use, and we have great hopes that it will be well received by the inmate population," said sheriff's office Capt. Wesley Lynch. "The treatment itself will be voluntary, of course. We also plan on releasing educational materials to our inmates informing them of the potential benefits."

A person's antibodies work by binding to a virus or bacteria and preventing it from infecting that person's body. Monoclonal antibodies are made by cloning natural antibodies. The technology has been around for about 30 years and is used to combat cancer and other diseases.

In an August press conference, Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser, said monoclonal antibodies are "underutilized" and can reduce the risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19 by 70% to 85%.

Next: Proactively treating COVID-19 positive populations in correctional facilities

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