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November 2021

Four people stood outside infront of a marquee jpeg
Anaesthetist Dr Amanda Baric, sotrovimab clinic NUM Madonna Sanchez, Don Campbell and infection prevention director Madelaine Flynn.

Outpatient service for COVID patients

Northern Health has launched an outpatient service to treat people with COVID-19 in the community.

The sotrovimab clinic is located at Northern Hospital Epping.

In the clinic, staff intravenously administer sotrovimab, a novel monoclonal antibody treatment, to patients who are unwell with COVID-19.

Northern Health is one of only a couple of sites across Victoria that are administering this therapy in an outpatient setting.

‘Vulnerable communities are particularly at risk from COVID-19,’ said Staying Well Program director Don Campbell.

‘The sotrovimab treatment involves a single intravenous infusion of a monoclonal antibody directed against the protein spike of the SARS CoV2 (COVID-19) virus.

‘If it is administered early to eligible patients it has the potential to reduce risk of severe illness and admission to hospital by over 80 percent.’

The laboratory-made proteins are designed to mimic the natural antibodies produced by the immune system when defending itself against diseases.

The monoclonal antibodies bind to the virus to stop it from entering host cells and also help to fight off already infected cells.

A complete treatment cycle requires only one dose.

‘We want to treat members of our community who are at risk – so we can help keep them safe at home,’ Professor Campbell said.

Director of infection prevention Madelaine Flynn said the new clinic was being well received by patients.

‘The clinic can administer this treatment to 15 patients per day, Monday to Friday.

‘So far, the clinic is going great – we have already had many patients come through and receive this treatment.’