States warn of COVID-19 antibody drug scarcity

State officers throughout the nation are sounding the alarm over shortages of monoclonal antibody medication used for the therapy of COVID-19, with some warning unvaccinated people to not rely on having such remedies out there within the occasion that they contract the virus within the close to future.

With demand far outpacing provide for the medication, specifically Regeneron’s REVG-COV and Eli Lilley’s Bamlanivimab, the Biden administration introduced this week that the Division of Well being and Human Providers can be “transitioned from a direct ordering course of to a state/territory-coordinated distribution system” for the remedies. The company promising the change would give “well being departments most flexibility to get these crucial medication the place they’re wanted most.”

Bamlanivimab, the first antibody drug to help the immune system fight COVID-19. 

Bamlanivimab, the primary antibody drug to assist the immune system combat COVID-19. 
(Courtesy of Eli Lilly through AP)

The HHS choice precipitated a lot of states to alert their residents of the change, and a few officers used the chance to induce unvaccinated residents to get vaccinated as a result of provides of the antibody remedies would possibly dry up.

“It’s a lot simpler to get a vaccine than danger changing into severely ailing with life threatening issues,” Georgia Division of Public Well being commissioner Kathleen Toomey stated in a press release accompanying the state’s announcement concerning the brand new HHS distribution system. “Monoclonal antibodies are briefly provide and excessive demand and hospital beds are full. What Georgia does have is sufficient vaccine for all Georgians aged 12 and over to be vaccinated.”


North Dakota cautioned its residents this week that the demand for antibody medication “is anticipated to exceed the allocation” within the state.

“Those that have been hesitant about receiving COVID-19 vaccine could also be relying on monoclonal antibodies for therapy in the event that they turn into sick,” North Dakota State Well being Officer Nizar Wehbi stated in a press release. “As a result of elevated nationwide demand and really restricted provide, Monoclonal antibody remedies might not be as out there.”

“Vaccination remains to be the perfect safety in opposition to extreme sickness, hospitalization, and dying from COVID-19,” Wehbi continued, including, “North Dakotans who haven’t but been vaccinated are inspired to take action.”

Throughout a press briefing this week, White Home Press Secretary Jen Psaki instructed reporters concerning the HHS change that “simply seven states are making up 70 p.c of the orders” for antibody remedies.

“Our provide isn’t limitless, and we imagine it must be equitable throughout states, throughout the nation,” she stated.

In keeping with Politico, the seven states that Psaki was referring to are all within the South, and one in every of them is Florida. 


Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis lambasted the Biden administration over the brand new distribution guidelines, saying Thursday, “We have been handed a serious curveball right here, with a very large reduce from HHS and the Biden administration.” 

“We’re going to ensure we go away no stone unturned,” he stated throughout a presser. “Whoever wants a therapy, we will work like hell to get them the therapy.”

Supply hyperlink