If you’re seeking COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment out of state, think about this first

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 10:38 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - More people sought out monoclonal antibodies to prevent severe illness from COVID-19 as treatments for the deadly virus became more sufficient, but with Alabama’s supply cut by 30% by the federal government, some would likely try to go to other states to get it. However, a state health leader said it may not be an easy task.

Deputy State health officer, Dr. Karen Landers, said monoclonal antibodies would give a COVID-19 infected person about an 85% chance of staying out of the hospital.

The highly sought after treatment was making an impact in the fight against COVID, according to Landers.

When vaccines were first rolled out some crossed state lines to roll up their sleeves and Landers said it could be a possibility that people would do the same to get treatment for the virus.

However, Dr. Landers said the treatment may be difficult to find.

“Keep in mind, every state has the same formula for getting monoclonal antibodies that we have in Alabama. It’s really no different for other states that are receiving the monoclonal antibodies from the federal government,” Landers explained.

Dr. Landers also said keep in mind that a person must qualify for treatment and you must also be referred by a provider to get it.

“And, if you got another state, you still have to be seen and assessed related to your eligibility for the monoclonal antibodies. It’s seeking medical care in another state, certainly you can do that, but keep in mind other states are operating under the same restrictions we are,” she said.

Unlike Florida, which was paying for monoclonal antibodies out of pocket since the federal government cut their supply, Landers said Alabama didn’t have the funds to do the same.

Landers added that the public shouldn’t depend on monoclonal antibodies but vaccines as they offer a higher degree of protection from severe illness.

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