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Some states restrict the treatment of monoclonal antibodies to high-risk patients

September 22, 2021 — At least two states recommend that physicians prioritize the limited supply of monoclonal antibody treatments for high-risk COVID-19 patients, including unvaccinated people experiencing serious illnesses.

Tennessee health officials say nearly all vaccinated patients should be given lower priority to preserve supplies for those who remain the most vulnerable, while those in Alabama say treatments should go to those most likely to be hospitalized.

“Ultimately, it depends on the clinical judgment of providers to ensure that those at greatest risk receive this treatment,” said Bill Christian, a spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Health. tell Forbes.

Last week, the Biden administration imposed new restrictions on state allocations for monoclonal antibody treatments. to Politico. The step is intended to prevent shortages while replenishing inventory. The Biden administration ordered more monoclonal antibodies from the two main suppliers, Regeneron and Eli Lilly and Company.

In recent months, 70% of the country’s supply has gone to seven states: Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. All but Florida have below-average vaccination rates for COVID-19, NBC News reported.

In response to the restrictions, state health officials were forced to issue recommendations on who should receive the treatment. This week, Tennessee and Alabama said the treatments should be reserved for patients over the age of 65, who have been vaccinated or have been vaccinated but are immunocompromised.

“Clinically, it makes sense,” said Lisa Piercey, managing director of Tennessee. tell The Tennessean.

“But the doctor in me thinks of all this ‘what if’,” she said. ‘What if there is an older person at high risk, but this is not technically considered a compromise? They do not understand it, but a 22-year-old unvaccinated person with asthma, do they get it? ”

So far, only a few states have reported problems with the new federal government restrictions. Mississippi and Texas officials tell Forbes Tuesday that they were able to meet the demands of last week’s awards.

“We just do not know what the supply will be in the long run and can not predict what the effect will be,” said Douglas Loveday, a spokesman for the Texas Department of State and Health Services. Forbes.

The current weekly delivery of the Biden administration is approximately 150,000 doses. It is likely to take several weeks to increase the number of doses, Politico reports, and officials expect the new limits to apply until October.

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