States warn of COVID-19 antibody drug shortage

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State officials across the country are sounding the alarm

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State officials across the country are sounding the alarm over a shortage of monoclonal antibody drugs used to treat COVID-19, with some warning unaffiliated people should not rely on such treatments being available for the near future. contract the virus.

With demand far exceeding supply of drugs like Regeneron’s REVG-CoV and Eli Lilly’s bamalanivimab, the Biden administration announced this week that the Department of Health and Human Services would be moving “from a direct ordering process to state/territory-coordinated distribution.” system” for treatment. The agency promising the switch would “give health departments maximum flexibility to get these critical drugs where they are needed most.”

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The HHS decision caused many states to alert their citizens to the change, and some officials urged unvaccinated residents to get vaccinated because supplies of antibody treatments could run dry.

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“It is much easier to get a vaccine than to become seriously ill with life-threatening complications,” said Kathleen Tomei, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health, in a statement accompanying the state announcement about the new HHS delivery system. ” “Monoclonal antibodies are in short supply and in high demand and hospital beds are full. Georgia has enough vaccine for all Georgians 12 years of age and older.”

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North Dakota warned its residents this week that demand for antibody drugs in the state is “projected to exceed allocation”.

“People who are hesitant to receive a COVID-19 vaccine may rely on monoclonal antibodies to treat when they become ill,” North Dakota state health officer Nizar Wehbi said in a statement. “Due to increased national demand and very limited supply, monoclonal antibody treatments may not be available.”

“Vaccination is still the best protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19,” Wehby continued, “North Dakotans who have not yet been vaccinated need to do so. is encouraged.”

During a press briefing this week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters about the HHS change that “just seven states are making 70 percent of orders” for antibody treatments.

“Our supply is not unlimited, and we believe it should be the same across states across the country,” she said.

According to politicianThe seven states that Saki was referring to are all in the South, and one of them is Florida.

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Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis slammed the Biden administration over the new distribution rules on Thursday, saying, “We’ve been handed a major curveball here with really huge cuts from HHS and the Biden administration.”

“We’re going to make sure we leave no stone unturned,” he said during a press conference. “Those who need treatment, we’re going to work like hell to get them treated.”


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