LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Doctors are University of Kentucky Hospital said they're still dealing with a serious surge in COVID-19 among children.

Kentucky Children's Hospital has opened a new clinic intended to fight that surge. The Pediatric Specialty Infusion Clinic offers monoclonal antibody treatment to children, which was granted emergency use authorization in May. It consists of lab-made proteins that mimic an immune system's ability to fight off viruses.

Doctors said it's a way to keep Kentucky children with COVID-19 out of the hospital. On Oct. 8, Kentucky Department for Public Health reported 584 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kentuckians 18 and younger.

Children who are candidates for the antibody treatment have to be at least 12 years old, weigh 90 pounds and be at high-risk of critical COVID-19 infection. 

"Some of these are fairly obvious, cancer, severe long disease, others are much more common conditions that people might not realize would make them at a very high risk for COVID, chief amongst them being obesity," said Dr. Sean McTigue, UK interim chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

McTigue said most of the children who have been suffering with severe COVID-19 at Kentucky Children's Hospital have been obese.

According to doctors, most patients admitted to the hospital in Lexington that are seriously ill and need help breathing haven't been vaccinated against the virus.

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