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So what is monoclonal antibody therapy and how does it work?

Doctors say it is not a replacement for the vaccine, and the best way to prevent COVID-19 is still rolling up your sleeve.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — At the beginning of the pandemic, doctors had no specific treatment for COVID-19, but now, some patients are seeing real success with something called monoclonal antibody therapy

There has been a lot of buzz about monoclonal antibody therapy recently. So what do all those words mean? And how is it helping?

Let's connect the dots.

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RELATED: 'I really think it did help' | Some Charlotte residents able to receive monoclonal antibody treatment

Your body naturally makes antibodies in a response to an infection. Monoclonal antibodies are the same thing, except they're made in a lab. And they are specially designed to target coronavirus.

The monoclonal antibodies attack the virus' spike proteins and give your immune system time to launch its own response.

RELATED: StarMed Healthcare opens new clinic for monoclonal antibody therapy in Charlotte

Doctors say that helps prevent the worst symptoms of COVID-19 and prevent hospitalizations. 

Right now, monoclonal antibody therapy is only recommended for high-risk COVID-19 patients, like people with pre-existing conditions or those over 65. 

It's most effective when given in the first few days after a COVID-19 diagnosis. 

Doctors say it is not a replacement for the vaccine, and the best way to prevent COVID-19 is still rolling up your sleeve.

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