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Monoclonal antibody treatment supply low in East Alabama

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 10:40 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As the demand for monoclonal antibody treatment continues to increase, the Alabama Department of Health will review the criteria for administering them.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced that monoclonal antibodies for treatment of COVID-19 are temporarily under allocation and must be tracked by healthcare providers to ensure they are distributed where needed.

Doctors with the Regional Medical Center in Anniston said their treatment supply is gone. Now they are waiting on guidance from ADPH on when new shipments will arrive and the allocation process.

Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Health says the monoclonal antibody treatment is helpful, but it’s best to do all you can to avoid getting Covid.

If you qualify for the antibody treatment, Dr. Landers says it’s best to do it sooner than later. The process is the most effective within the first ten days.

Dr. Almena Free at Regional Medical Center says they’ve administered more than 200 treatments over the span of three days. It can prevent patients from becoming extremely ill and possibly being hospitalized. Dr. Free says they’ve seen the benefits and they plan to work to get more.

“We have none at this present time,” said Dr. Free. “We’re working very diligently with the state and the United States government to get more monoclonal antibodies in this area because what we’ve found was that this medication helps mild to moderate Covid positive patients.”

Dr. Landers says ADPH will communicate with hospitals and other health clinics that offer the antibody treatment about what allocation will look like.

“With the demand for these products comes the need to try to ensure that these products are out there in facilities,” says Dr. Landers. “Facilities can receive these and get these people treated. I think it’s going to be a bit of a challenge here, but the state of Alabama is very committed.”

Although the monoclonal antibody treatment is beneficial, health officials want to remind people that the best way to protect yourself is to get the Covid vaccine.

To locate a site where monoclonal antibodies have been delivered in Alabama, visit https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=d84846411471404c83313bfe7ab2a367.

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