HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) – DHR Health has initiated a new study to prevent COVID-19 in high-risk patients. 

Dr. Sohail Rao the DHR Research and Development President said the health organization is the first to do something like this in the state of Texas. He said the study received full approval from the state under the FDA’s emergency use authorization.

According to Dr. Rao, the ultimate goal is for the antibody used within the study to give patients protection against COVID-19 for up to nine months.

“We would look at their antibody title before giving them this particular intramuscular injection; we would follow up with them to see what’s the level of this antibody in them because that would actually be some idea of whether this antibody is protecting or not over the course of one year,” he said. 

Dr. Rao said volunteers are currently needed for the study but must fulfill the following requirements.

  • High risk patient 
  • 12 years of age and older
  • Fully vaccinated and received booster shot (2 weeks out of last vaccination)
  • Be COVID-19 negative at the time of getting study treatment

Dr. Rao said Minerva E. is one of the first patients DHR Health approached because she fulfilled all of the requirements. 

Minerva falls into the high-risk category because she is undergoing treatment for lupus. 

Due to her condition and the pandemic, she felt the urge to get vaccinated and receive a booster. After hearing about the study she felt it was important for her to participate and inspire others to take action. 

“Having lupus I need to protect myself. I need to protect my family and my co-workers and this is something that’s going to help me move forward with the vaccine,” she said. 

According to Dr. Rao, Minerva will be one of the first to start treatment next week. 

Anyone who is interested or would like to know more about the study is encouraged to contact Dr. Rao at 956-342-4896. 

Dr. Rao said DHR Health will provide free of charge COVID-19 testing for volunteers and would like to remind everyone that the antibody used within the study is not a substitution for vaccination.