The Arkansas Health Care Association (AHCA) announced that facilities across the state have helped to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to more than 25,000 residents and staff members, and that several facilities have begun monoclonal treatments.

“We are thankful for the pharmacy partnerships, and the hard work and dedication of our staff at facilities across the state,” said Rachel Bunch, executive director of AHCA.

“Our teams have been fighting the pandemic since last March and the vaccine brings hope of a life-saving turning point in our fight to protect Arkansas’ most vulnerable. To echo what Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisting Living said earlier, we are a part of a monumental effort to vaccinate millions of our nation’s vulnerable. We are confident and grateful that everyone involved is working as hard and as fast as they can while still ensuring we get this right.”

Facilities in Arkansas have been working with local pharmacies to offer vaccines clinics at their locations. Many locations are preparing and planning for round two of vaccine clinics to start next week.

As vaccination efforts continue across the state, several facilities are among the first in the state to offer COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment to high-risk residents showing mild symptoms. These facilities are Courtyard Rehabilitation and Health Center LLC in El Dorado, Greystone Nursing and Rehab, LLC in Cabot and Crestpark Wynne, LLC in Wynne. The treatment includes antibody infusions designed to slow the progression of the virus and keep patients out of the hospital.

Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful antigens such as viruses. Bamlanivimab is a monoclonal antibody that is specifically directed against the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2, designed to block the virus attachment in entry into human cells.

“More facilities in Arkansas will soon be able to offer the monoclonal antibody treatment to residents,” said Bunch. “We are proud to share that Courtyard Rehabilitation and Health Center began administering treatment on January 13 and look forward to other facilities joining them as we continue our fight against COVID-19.”

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