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Hospitals in the Houston area may run out of omicron monoclonal antibody therapy: report




Houston hospitals say they may run out of sotrovimab antibody treatment over the next two weeks.

Sotrovimab has been shown to be effective against the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) told Fox News on Saturday that their four-hospital network “uses sotrovimab with patients who need it most and is waiting for the next shipment.”

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The Houston Chronicle reported Friday that the Houston Methodist West Hospital has enough supply to meet demand until Jan. 13.

Hospitals that are part of the Houston Methodist system have “enough sotrovivab for now”[ads1]; and “expect a new award possibly next week,” a Fox News official said.

UTMB chief physician Dr. Gulshan Sharma told Fox News that the hospital system had “allocation before Christmas” and that it “looks for the next allocation date in early 2022.”

“Based on our current use, it may last [the] next 10-14 days, “Sharma added.

Sharma told the Chronicle that the hospital system would probably replace the treatment with a three-day course of remdeivir.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement Friday that the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has requested additional allocations of sotrovimab from the federal government.

“The agency also requested that the federal government continue to supply the state of Texas with Regeneron and bamlanivimab, monoclonal antibody treatments for other strains of COVID-19 that have also been shown to help reduce hospital admissions across the state,” Abbott’s office wrote.

“Detecting COVID-19 and preventing covid-related hospitalizations is crucial to our fight against this virus,” Abbott said in a statement. “While the Biden administration has cut supplies of monoclonal antibody treatments and test kits when most needed, the state of Texas urges the federal government to step up in this fight and provide the resources needed to protect Texans. Test sites, additional medical personnel, and continued shipments of therapy from the federal government will help us continue to save lives and reduce the spread of COVID-19. ”

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In a Dec. 27 press release, the DSHS said the federal government was controlling the distribution of monoclonal antibodies and that regional infusion centers in Austin, El Paso, Fort Worth, San Antonio and The Woodlands had used up their sotrovimab supplies “due to national shortages.”

“They will not be able to offer it until federal authorities send further courses of sotrovimab to Texas in January. People who had appointments this week will be contacted directly and informed. Other monoclonal antibodies have not been shown to be effective against the omicron variant, which now “The infusion centers will continue to offer these antibodies as prescribed by healthcare professionals for people diagnosed with a non-omicron case of COVID-19,” the department wrote, noting that two new oral antiviral drugs approved in the previous Week of US Food and Administration (FDA) will soon be available, with an expected limited initial supply.

Hospitals in the Houston area may run out of omicron monoclonal antibody therapy: report

Healthcare professionals treat a patient infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, USA, on December 29, 2020.
(REUTERS / Callaghan O’Hare)

The federal government will also control their distribution.

A spokesman for DSHS told the Chronicle that the state health agency would learn more about future monoclonal antibody allocations on Monday.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in a statement that the supply of the drug is “extremely limited, and additional doses of the product will not be available until the week of January 3.”

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Monoclonal antibodies are critical tools for hospitals – but not a substitute for vaccination – and are intended for people who are at high risk or symptomatic.

Texas identified its first case of omicron on Dec. 6, and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said last month that a Houston man is believed to have been the first American to die from the strain.

“The omicron variant of COVID is extremely contagious,” Dr. David Persse told Fox 26. “We are seeing the numbers increase quite dramatically.”



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