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State-run antibody clinic set to shut down

By the end of the month, Missouri's six monoclonal antibody sites will be shut down after treating nearly 3,500 patients.

Posted: Oct 22, 2021 11:44 AM

(CAMERON, Mo.) By the end of the month, Missouri's six monoclonal antibody sites will be shut down after treating nearly 3,500 patients.

That care transitioned to health care providers willing to add the treatment to its menu.

However, that's only the state-run clinics, the privately run sites are working to stay open.

Statewide, six of the monoclonal antibody therapy sites are in the process of closing down.

The privately-run sites are still trying to stay open.

“They haven't seen any real drop-off. Still seeing a lot of patients to our east that are being referred over. So definitely being used pretty significantly,” Blair Shock from the Clinton County Health Department said.

The site in Cameron is run as a partnership between the county health department, Cameron Regional, and Urgent Care Express in St. Joseph.

"Last winter there was no light at the end of the tunnel. It was a very dark time. It gives us hope that we will emerge that the end of the acute phase of this pandemic is within grasp and we are getting there,” Shock said.

It's an expensive endeavor.

"There's no cost to the patient but that's not to say that there's no cost. The government is footing the bill for this to the tune of $1800 and $1900 per treatment,” Shock said.

The state-run clinics are projected to cost the state more than $22 million.

The private sites like the one in Clinton County are paid for on a wing and a prayer.

“Protective measures, things like this that we do, FEMA won't tell you in advance if they'll pay you for or not. We provide the service, expend the capital to pay for people and supplies and then we ask for a reimbursement," Shock said.

Thousands of people have been treated with monoclonal antibody therapies, diverting people from hospitals and likely saving lives.

"Our clear path out of this is reducing and preventing the number of infections and treating those who do become infected and these are all, quote, tools in the toolbelt that allow us to do that,” Shock said.

As of right now, Cameron's clinic will stay open until the end of November.

Deciding to focus more on the mission than the money.

"In reality, we are going to do this irrespective of whether reimbursement is coming or not because it's the right thing to do and it saves lives. It reduces human suffering, that's what we do,” Shock said.

As Clinton County continues on, the state-run clinics will wind down.

Fully transitioning all referrals to nearby hospitals.

Other privately run sites in northwest Missouri are run by Mosaic.

To date, more than 2,200 total doses have been administered through the hospital system.

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It was a pleasant start to the weekend with sunny skies and temperatures reaching the mid 60s. A cold front moving through the area will bring us down into the 30s for lows overnight with gusty winds up to 20 mph. This will keep our highs in the 50s on Sunday under mostly sunny skies with mild winds from the southwest. Temperatures will quickly start to warm up again on Monday with highs in the mid 60s. Rain chances look to stay minimal into next week. Temperatures are forecasted to stay above average for the first day of December on Wednesday.
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