You’ve tested positive for COVID-19. Now what?


Pharmacists at Johnston Health Outpatient Pharmacy are now authorized to prescribe Paxlovid with certain limitations (July 6, 2022 FDA Statement)

Patients testing positive for COVID-19 now have an additional option as the FDA expands access to certain treatments for eligible patients. Recently, the FDA updated the Paxlovid EUA, which gives pharmacists the authority to prescribe this treatment with certain limitations. Johnston Health Outpatient Pharmacy is now an approved site for patients seeking treatment and the pharmacists there can assist these patients in the care they need. To accomplish this, the pharmacist needs to review a patient’s recent medical records and medication list, and are able to directly prescribe if all eligibility steps are met. Eligibility criteria include meeting all previous EUA requirements, meeting UNC prioritization criteria, not having any drug-drug interactions requiring therapy modifications, and the ability for the pharmacist to evaluate renal and hepatic function within the last 12 months. Call the pharmacy at 919-938-7386 to get started! Pharmacy hours are Monday – Friday 9am to 5:30pm.

Monoclonal Antibody Therapy

Folleto de Terapia de anticuerpos monoclonales en español

Monoclonal antibody therapy is a treatment option for some COVID-19 patients. This treatment is currently limited to those meeting specific medical criterion. If one of the following applies to you, you may be eligible:

  • Test positive for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)
  • Have at least mild symptoms for no more than 7 days
  • Are age 65 plus, or 12 plus with conditions that increase the risk of severe illness.

These include pregnancy, being overweight/obese, diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, among others or have difficulty accessing health care services. This treatment is NOT a substitute for vaccination. Vaccines continue to provide the best protection against COVID-19.

Do you have further questions about eligibility? Do you desire treatment?

Monoclonal antibodies are administered to eligible individuals at UNC Health Johnston in Smithfield on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Call 919-938-7749 for screening, to schedule an appointment, and to ask any questions concerning your eligibility for monoclonal antibody therapy.

Use this map to find the entrance to the facility and the parking lot where the treatments will be administered.

Monoclonal Antibody Therapy map showing where to park and where to enter the Johnston Health Smithfield facility

Frequently Asked Questions

What are monoclonal antibodies?

Monoclonal antibodies, or mAbs, are lab-produced molecules that help your body fight off illness. Monoclonal antibodies can restore, boost, or imitate your immune system’s response to the virus by replacing your natural antibodies. Antibodies are produced by your immune system to protect your body from things like viruses.

Who is eligible for monoclonal antibody treatment?

All high-risk adults and high-risk youth (ages 12-17 who weigh at least 88 pounds) may be eligible for treatment. High risk factors can include:

Who CANNOT receive monoclonal antibody therapy?

Monoclonal antibodies are not authorized for use in patients who:

  • Older age
  • Obesity or Being Overweight
  • Pregnancy
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Weakened Immune System (due to health or medication)
  • Heart Disease (including high blood pressure)
  • Lung Disease (ex: COPD, asthma, or cystic fibrosis)
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Cerebral Palsy (or other developmental conditions)
  • Regular Use of Feeding Tube or Ventilator

How soon does someone need to receive monoclonal antibody therapy after testing positive for COVID-19?

Monoclonal antibodies must be administered within 10 days of a person’s first COVID-19 symptoms and after a positive test. The sooner a person receives treatment, the better.

How is monoclonal antibody therapy different from the COVID-19 vaccines?

A vaccine protects you from COVID-19 by triggering your body’s natural immune response if you are exposed to COVID-19. This is your best protection from COVID-19. Monoclonal antibody treatment is for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and gives your body the
antibodies it needs to protect itself.

How do I take monoclonal antibodies?

Monoclonal antibodies are administered by health care professionals through a shot (subcutaneous injection). The injection takes 20 minutes to complete. Treatment is followed by 60 minutes of observation by your health care provider.