ESCONDIDO–Palomar Health unveiled the region’s first COVID-19 Resource Clinic that offers vaccines, testing, and monoclonal antibody therapy in one location.
These services are open to the public and available by appointment only by going to Palomar Health’s website. Antibody therapy is offered by physician referral only.
“What we have here is what our nation needs – the triple threat against the virus: The identification through testing, the vaccination for those who haven’t contracted it and the monoclonal antibody treatment for those who test positive for it,” said Palomar Health President and CEO Diane Hansen. “We are the only site in San Diego County to have this approach and I believe, the only site in the nation.”
“I want to thank Palomar Health for being such a strong partner in the County’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign,” San Diego County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer said in remarks at today’s press conference in front of the former Palomar Medical Center Downtown Escondido. “The County is continuing to accelerate our efforts to vaccinate people across the region…at sites like this one.”
Vaccinations are offered Tuesday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are offered on select days, subject to availability. The Clinic hosted its first patients on February 6, vaccinating 400 people. The Clinic accommodates both drive through vehicles and walk through pedestrians under the climate protection of the three level parking garage. When fully operational the site will be able to vaccinate more than 1,000 people per day.
COVID-19 drive through testing (pedestrians accommodated) is offered Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1-5 p.m. by appointment only. Monoclonal anti-body therapy is offered seven days per week, 12 hours per day (8 a.m. – 8 p.m.) utilizing space in the now closed hospital. Monoclonal antibody therapy has been used to fight cancer for years and uses laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful antigens such as viruses.
When an antibody finds its target, it binds with the antigen and helps the immune system kill the diseased cell. The process intravenously infuses COVID-19 infected patients with a 16-minute drip treatment that has proven to reduce symptoms and improve patient outcomes. The treatment is expected to save lives and reduce hospital admissions. Patients must first receive a physician referral before scheduling an appointment (not available online).