DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The monoclonal antibody treatment that has been given to people who contract COVID-19 has been put on pause.
Pulmonary Associates in Dothan has been dispensing the treatment, but they’re now out of stock.
“We used the last of our monoclonal antibody treatments this week,” Pulmonary Associates Marvin W. Sexton M.D. said. “We went through in two days, which should have approximately lasted a month.”
Pulmonary Associates used the monoclonal antibody REGEN-COV, a combined monoclonal antibody treatment that Dr. Sexton says was affective against the Delta variant and helped lower the amount of deaths and hospitalizations by 70%.
Health providers get it from the state, which gets its from the federal government.
But last Thursday, the feds announced a pause of this treatment.
Saying it’s unlikely to be effective in defusing the Omicron variant.
Flowers hospital is also suspending treatment saying:
“Due to a pause by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the supply allocations of two currently available monoclonal antibody treatments. Flowers Hospital is suspending its offering of the treatments beginning Thursday, December 30 2021.”
As the Omicron variant continues to work its way to the Wiregrass, doctors are trying to prepare.
“Trying to obtain new monoclonal antibody treatment that will hopefully be more effective against the Omicron, but just having something to treat patients with would be helpful,” Dr. Sexton said.
They’re still in limited supply right now, but some of the REGEN-COV is headed to Pulmonary Associates next week, though the supply will be limited.
“We have been told that we were probably get a handful of treatments, less than five in the next week or so, but that’s clearly not enough to serve the whole community,” Dr. Sexton said.
The monoclonal antibody treatment is a limited resource and the more that is manufactured, the more treatments that could be headed to the Wiregrass in the coming months.