- The new process has won the attention across the world and has unsettled some of their governors who have made the antibody treatment central to their strategy for enduring a catastrophic wave of the delta variant.
Vaccine-resistant Americans are turning to the treatment with a zeal that has, at times, mystified their doctors, chasing down lengthy infusions after rejecting vaccines that cost one-hundredth as much, reports Yahoo News.
Orders have exploded so quickly this summer — to 168,000 doses per week in late August, up from 27,000 in July — that the Biden administration warned states this week of a dwindling national supply.
With seven Southern states accounting for 70% of orders, thereby making the antibody treatment central to their strategy for enduring a catastrophic wave of the delta variant.
Amid a din of anti-vaccine falsehoods, monoclonal antibodies have become the rare coronavirus medicine to achieve near-universal acceptance. Championed by mainstream doctors and conservative radio hosts alike, the infusions have kept the country’s death toll — 2,000 per day and climbing — from soaring even higher. And after months of work by President Joe Biden and Southern governors to promote the treatments, they have won the affection of vaccine refusers who said that the terrors and uncertainties of actually getting COVID-19 had made them desperate for an antidote.
Many patients, including vaccine skeptics, have been spreading the word about their almost miraculous recoveries, which has fueled demand. “They’re like, ‘I have COVID, I want this treatment, my friend or family told me about this,’” said Jennifer Berry, the Houston Methodist nursing director of infusion services. “Now the word is out.” At Houston Methodist, nurses administered nearly 1,100 treatments across eight sites in the first week of September, well more than twice as many as any week last winter. The hospital reduced the average time between orders and infusions to two days this month from three days in early August, giving patients a better chance of fighting off infections. Juggling the infusions with more seriously ill COVID-19 patients this summer forced the hospital, in one case, to move a monoclonal antibody clinic to a strip mall storefront.
The new ordering process
The new ordering process, which the Biden administration said would ensure “equitable distribution,” has unsettled some backers of the drug. Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, a Republican, warned that state officials were unprepared for the new responsibility of parceling out doses. And in heavily vaccinated states, like New York, people coordinating treatments fear that shipments will plummet because of low case rates, leaving hospitals with so few doses that they shutter their programs. Some hospitals recently reported growing numbers of vaccinated patients receiving infusions. Diana Berrent, the founder of Survivor Corps, which has worked to help patients find monoclonal antibody treatments, said that involving state governments would create delays: “You’re layering in 50 new layers of bureaucracy,” she said.
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Source: Yahoo News