State health leaders worry hospitalizations will spike with less monoclonal antibody treatments being supplied to the state

Monoclonal Antibody Supply
Monoclonal Antibody Supply
Published: Sep. 26, 2021 at 9:27 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Covid-19 case numbers and hospitalizations may be trending downwards across the state, but the demand for monoclonal antibody treatments is rising.

Doctors with the Alabama Hospital Association said the lower case numbers are linked to monoclonal antibodies becoming more available to providers this past month, but now they are a scarce resource again in Alabama.

“It is a scarce resource,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said. “There is not enough to go around.”

ADPH is now in charge of distributing monoclonal antibody treatments to providers across the state, after the federal government put a limit on the supply.

“We have been in contact with many many many providers,” Harris said. “Trying to determine what they have on hand, so that we can get it to those places that are truly out or to those parts of the state who don’t have other providers.”

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said this past week, ADPH has gotten three times more requests from providers.

“Just under 6,600 doses were allocated to Alabama,” Harris said. “There were about 19 thousand orders or requests for product this week, so you can see there is a real scarcity there.”

The scarcity worries Dr. Don Williamson with the Alabama Hospital Association.

“Monoclonals were instrumental in reducing hospitalizations,” Williamson said. “I have to be concerned that over the next few weeks, we could see an increase in hospitalization. People who would have otherwise gotten monoclonals don’t get it and the result is they end up hospitalized.”

Williamson said the short supply of treatment will impact everyone infected with the virus, but he said unvaccinated people are at the most risk.

“Whether it’s at the hospital or whether it’s at the doctor’s office, if you need monoclonal antibodies then you need monoclonal antibodies,” Williamson said. “If they are not available, you increase your risk of ending up in the hospital.”

Dr. Harris said 12 other states are getting more antibodies than Alabama, but the limited supply is set to end sometime next month.

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