Texas – The two monoclonal antibody treatments that were approved and shipped nationwide for months now, are no longer working against the Covid-19, specifically against the Omicron variant of the virus.
Since majority of the new Covid-19 cases across the country are now Omicron variant cases, the federal government decided to pause the shipment of the antibody treatment and state health officials are told not to use these treatments unless there is laboratory evidence showing that those who test positive don’t have the Omicron variant.
That’s because the state said recent studies show the two treatments have “significantly decreased efficacy” against the Omicron variant.
According to latest data issued by CDC, more than 90% of the cases in the last two weeks in both Texas in general and North Texas are Omicron variant cases.
Until now, Regeneron and Bamete have been effective fighting against the original virus and Delta variant and keeping those who test positive out of the hospital.
Dr. Nikhil Bhayani, an infectious disease specialist for Texas Health Resources said Friday, “The monoclonal antibodies that were pulled off from use makes perfect sense, because studies have shown that they have very little benefit against the Omicron variant.”
In addition, those who are applying the antibody treatment are strongly advised by the state to pause the treatment unless they are sure that the Covid-19 patients are infected with another variant than the Omicron.
State health officials added that with the Omicron in place, the risk of side effects from the two treatments may outweigh the benefits.
However, Sotrovimab, a third antibody treatment, is safe and its use will continue in the upcoming period in Omicron patients since the government confirmed this type of treatment is still very effective in Omicron patients. But the problem with Sotrovimab is the very short supply.
A spokesman for DSHS said Friday that Texas received 11,760 doses as of earlier this week, which includes 1,000 doses the agency was able to purchase on its own before the feds bought the remaining supply.
The state has allocated its entire supply and said it won’t receive more from the federal government until January.
As a result of the short supply of Sotrovimab, the government is recommending it be given only to those who are most at risk after testing positive: health care workers, first responders, and those who are immunocompromised.
While Americans are celebrating the holidays with family and friends, doctors advise that the best way one can remain as safe as possible is to get vaccinated.