EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) – DHR Health is offering a long-term antibody treatment that can prevent COVID-19 infections for high-risk patients.

The Institute of Research and Development is administering EVUSHELD, which was approved by the FDA for emergency use last month. Institute President Dr. Sohail Rao tells ValleyCentral this is the only long-term antibody treatment that can prevent omicron infections.

“So we have a large number of patients in the Valley who have a weakened immune system for one reason or the other,” Dr. Rao said. “It could be that they just received a transplant and therefore they are on immunosuppressive drugs or they have cancer and are getting chemotherapy.”

Besides patients with weakened immune systems, Dr. Rao said people who have Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are also at high risk. But patients must test negative for COVID-19 before receiving the treatment.

“This monoclonal antibody is known to work against omicron and provided protection against COVID,” Dr. Rao said.

The antibody treatment consists of two injections followed by observations from medical staff for one hour. Despite the treatment, Dr. Rao said it is not a replacement for the vaccines.

“This is as important as vaccinations for people who have a weakened immune system,” Dr. Rao said, “They should get vaccinated then they should get this antibody treatment so they can actually protect themselves.”

Even after getting this treatment doctors are still urging their patients to protect themselves.

“I do not want people to get the impression that once they get this treatment they can go and party out there, they still have to continue to follow CDC guidelines and please get vaccinated,” Dr. Rao said.

DHR Health has already treated more than 50 patients with EVUSHELD but is aiming to treat as many patients as possible.

For patients who may be eligible to receive the treatment, you can contact the DHR Health Institute Research and Development at 956-362-2390.