Baylor Scott & White Health doctor explains COVID-19 booster shots, monoclonal antibody infusions

A man preps a vaccine.
COVID-19 booster shots as well as antibody infusions are now available to continue fighting the spread of the virus. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)

COVID-19 booster shots as well as antibody infusions are now available to continue fighting the spread of the virus. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)

It has been less than a year since the first COVID-19 vaccines were released to the public, and in that time, the available information regarding treatments and preventions against the virus has continued to evolve.

Most recently, booster shots for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been made available as well as monoclonal antibody infusions.

Clifford Simmang is the chief medical officer at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Grapevine as well as regional CMO for the health care provider's west region. According to him, the main difference between a booster shot and an infusion is how each treatment reacts with your body’s natural immune response.

Simmang said a vaccine—including the booster shot—helps the body build an immune response to the virus, which allows the body to see the virus as a threat and fight against it if the person is infected. A vaccine takes time to become effective and is more of a preventive measure.

An antibody infusion, on the other hand, offers more immediate protection that mimics your body’s natural immune response to the virus. Unlike the vaccine, which protects someone from getting sick if they do catch the virus, Simmang said the antibody infusion helps fight the symptoms a patient would experience while sick, preventing them from getting worse.


“The vaccine is something that's designed to work over a long time to provide you immunity and protection,” Simmang said. “The monoclonal antibody is specifically designed and manufactured to give you a more immediate immunity and protection, and that's why it's important you get it early [after becoming infected].”

Health officials recommend patients come for an infusion, should they need it, no more than 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19. Infusions are available for high-risk populations, such as those over the age of 65 and people who are immunocompromised or have diabetes, hypertension and other similar conditions.

“Again, this isn't a treatment, so it's not a viral treatment. It's a viral protection, and so you got to get [the infusion] before [the virus] really takes hold of you. So the earlier the better as far as getting the monoclonal antibody,” Simmang said.

There are two state-run antibody infusion centers in North Texas. One is in Tarrant County at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, located on 801 Seventh Ave. The second one is at Collin College at the McKinney Campus Conference Center, located at 2400 Community Ave. in McKinney. Appointments are required, and there is no cost to the patient or the health care provider.

Infusions may also be offered at your local hospital, although fees may apply.

Simmang said although it is recommended vaccinated individuals do get their booster shot eventually, they should at least wait six months before getting it, and it should be the same brand as the original shot.

“We do know that the antibodies are different between having had [COVID-19] and those naturally protective antibodies and the antibodies produced by the vaccine,” Simmang said. “The count seem to be higher by the antibodies produced by the vaccine, but they can be a little bit different pathways.”

Booster shots may be available at a local pharmacy or health care provider. Patients will have to show their vaccination card to get the booster, which remains free of cost.

As of Oct. 6, Trauma Service Area E—which includes all of North Texas—has 2,017 total hospitalized COVID-19 patients, according to the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council. There are 57 available adult intensive care unit beds in the area.
By Sandra Sadek
Sandra Sadek covers the cities of Grapevine, Southlake and Roanoke as well as Carroll ISD for Community Impact. She graduated from Texas State University where she majored in journalism and international relations. She has experience working for several local papers including the University Star, the Katy Times, and the Fort Stockton Pioneer. When she's not on the ground reporting, she enjoys a good book and a hot drink. Follow her on social media @ssadek19.


MOST RECENT

Taco Palenque is now open as drive-thru only in Round Rock. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Taco Palenque opens in Round Rock; Plano ISD considering two draft calendars for 2022-23 school year and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 21.

Rendering of a building
Southlake's upcoming municipal service center to house several city departments

Once the city of Southlake breaks ground on this this project, it should take around two years to complete the new municipal service center.

Renderings of the conceptual tower were shown depicting a roughly 100-foot tower, but the intent is to build a smaller tower. A total of $2.43 million was given as an estimated cost for a 100-foot gravity tower, but presenters said the cost would scale down with a smaller tower. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Early concept for Frisco’s Northwest Community Park includes biking tower for ‘gravity riding’; Perky Beans Cafe now open in Leander, and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 20.

Drone-based delivery company Wing, a subsidiary of Alphabet, announced on Oct. 20 a partnership with Walgreens to bring the unconventional delivery model to densely populated metropolitan areas in the country. (Courtesy Wing)
Delivery drones will soon be flying around Frisco; Dutch Bros Coffee coming to Grapevine and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Dutch Bros Coffee is known for its cold brews, iced coffees, frozen drinks and lemonades. (Courtesy Dutch Bros Coffee)
Oregon-based Dutch Bros Coffee coming to Grapevine

Dutch Bros Coffee is a coffee chain known for its cold brews, iced coffees, frozen drinks and lemonades.

Sonic Drive-In will open a location on Ira E. Woods in Grapevine. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Fourth Sonic location coming soon to Grapevine

Grapevine City Council and Planning and Zoning approved a permit during a joint meeting for Sonic to open another location in the city.

The facility would serve as an alternative for local law enforcement officers who encounter people experiencing mental illness or a mental health episode. Oftentimes, officers end up charging such people with low-level offenses. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Tarrant County approves operations agreement for mental health jail diversion center

County documents also confirm that the facility will be located at 812 W. Morphy St. in Fort Worth.

Collin College's baccalaureate nursing classes are held at the Cary A. Israel Health Sciences Center in McKinney. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)
Collin College, Tarrant County College sign agreement to streamline bachelor's degree in nursing

The agreement was signed to address the need for highly qualified nurses in Texas, a news release said.

Want to know more about new businesses coming to the Katy area? Below you can find details on the five latest commercial projects filed in Katy. (Courtesy Canva)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Read the latest top news about restaurants, businesses and other commercial projects that are coming soon or now open

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 19.

Twisted Root Burger Co. plans to open in the space formerly occupied by Hub Streat in Plano. (Courtesy Twisted Root Burger Co.)
Twisted Root Burger Co. coming to Plano; Chick-fil-A to open Oct. 21 in McKinney and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The Now Massage offers high-quality, affordable massage services. (Courtesy the Now Massage)
The Now Massage boutique opens in Southlake

The franchise's newest location in Dallas-Fort Worth, The Now Massage offers high-quality, affordable massage services.