ROCKDALE, TX — Milam County is currently offering free monoclonal antibody infusions for COVID-19 at the former Little River Hospital in Rockdale.
“This is administered as an IV, and it goes in for about 30 minutes," explained Elisabeth Sanchez, a nurse practitioner with Gothams mobile clinic. "Then, we have about a 30 minute waiting period afterward.”
The antibody infusion is not a vaccine, nurse Sanchez stressed. It’s just a way to give the body an extra-biological defense once COVID-19 symptoms appear.
Since the mobile unit from Gothams set up shop in the vacant hospital on Monday the clinic has already treated five symptomatic people, young and old.
"We do like for you to see your doctor to get the diagnosis," Sanchez said. "... If you don’t have a provider, you are welcome to call our clinic here in Rockdale. I will be happy to talk to you and make sure you meet the qualifications.”
To receive the infusion, a patient's symptoms cannot be severe enough to require hospitalization and should have been present for less than ten days. Infusions can’t be provided to children 12 and younger, or to anyone who has been vaccinated in the last seven days.
According to Sanchez, other locations have been charging for infusions. Milam County Health Department director Robert Kirkpatrick said state and federal funds have allowed Milam County to offer this clinic to the region for free.
"Due to the rate of having 83 COVID fatalities, the county judge and I talked, and we opted to get every option for our residents to seek treatment for COVID-19," Kirkpatrick said.
The clinic is available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, but might be able to stay in town longer if demand increases.
To make an appointment for an infusion, call the clinic at (512) 853-0208.