Federal government caps number of monoclonal antibodies treatments for each state

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 6:34 PM EDT
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ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) - Finding an empty parking space in a lot of King’s Daughters Medical Center is far and few between. Dr. Charbel Salem said it’s just as crowded inside the hospital, too.

Walking through the busy parking lot, Salem said, " This represents what this and other hospitals in the U.S. are dealing with large volumes of patients and COVID-19 with others.”

The federal government will begin to cap and allocate a specific number of monoclonal antibodies treatments sent to states based on case levels and usage of the treatments. Officials said the shortage is caused because manufacturers can’t keep up with the demand.

Earlier this week, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said health care providers within the commonwealth will no longer be able to order treatments directly.

State governments will now supervise the distribution of a capped number of treatments given to each state from week to week.

Salem said the antibodies treatment is transformational in keeping hospitals below capacity.

“The reason we are using those medicines right now is to try and keep patients from progressing to the point where they end up here with us [at the hospital] as much as possible,” Salem said. “The antibodies help five to seven days after you caught the virus.”

For Christie Addington, when she was diagnosed with COVID-19, she said it was the sickest she’s ever been.

“It was exhausting. I had a headache, and the brain fog is real. It still hits me every so often,” Addington said.

After receiving the antibody treatment, Addington said she felt relief and improvement within 24 hours.

“It’s great to know something is out there that can offset the symptoms,” Addington said.

As hospitals brace for the antibody shortage, Salem said he and other health professionals will continue to provide the best care possible.

“We will try to get as many antibodies as we can. But my best advice, knowing this could be a challenge meaning the shortage in antibodies, is to get vaccinated,” Salem said.

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