North Texas – As we already reported few days ago, the federal government stopped the nationwide monoclonal antibody treatments used for Covid-19 after multiple studies showed that the treatment is not working for Omicron patients.
Now hospitals across the country that offer this treatment are facing shortages and so is the case with the hospitals in the North Texas.
The treatment is designed to help Covid-19 ill patients and so far, it showed great results in patients if applied in the early stages of the infection.
“I was very frightened. I was very frightened, and my husband and I knew. I could tell by the loop on his face that he was concerned too just because of how rapidly it was taking over,” said Ann McSwain.
McSwain and her husband are among the many who tested positive on Covid-19 recently. In the very first days of the infection, they only had mild symptoms, but their conditions worsened in the upcoming days and they decided to look for the monoclonal antibody treatment. However, after contacting several hospitals, they didn’t find a single one to still offer the treatment.
“There’s one in Fort Worth and I want to say one in Rockwall. Both of those were out. Then she referred my husband to Baylor Grapevine to see if they had any connections and they were out as well,” she said.
Something similar experienced Jamie Wilder, a Texas resident who was looking for the treatment for her 74-year-old mother. Wilder and her mother both tested positive last week and Wilder says she spent hours on the phone looking for a hospital that still offers the treatment for her mother.
“They’re like, ‘We’re completely out. We don’t know when we’re getting more. So, there were several places. I think I probably called 10 places,” she said.
Luckily, after days of looking for a hospital that still has supplies of the treatment, both families were able to find the treatment in Ferris, southeast of Dallas.
McSwain said she started feeling better within 12 hours and feels lucky she didn’t have to wait longer for an appointment.
“I think I would probably be in a hospital by now. There was no way as rapidly as it was taking over that I don’t see any other route. And like I said, the doctor today she said, ‘Yeah, your numbers were bad. You were headed there,’” she said.
They were among the last to receive the treatment in Ferris since the hospital also ran out of supplies.
This follows after the federal government stopped all the shipments of the treatment last week following the results of a several studies showing that the treatment has weak to no results against the Omicron variant.
“Regeneron, while it was about 80-90% effective against the delta variant, it’s only about 30-40% effective against omicron. However, I’d rather have a 30-40% chance of helping somebody than a 0% chance,” Ferris’ city manager Brooks Williams said.
The state health department said due to a national shortage, regional infusion centers in several cities including Fort Worth, Austin and El Paso have run out of it.
It’s leaving families desperately looking for treatment options to prevent more severe illness and hospitalization.
Right now, only Sotrovimab remains approved for use against Omicron. Since it has shown way better performance compared to all the other monoclonal antibody treatments, nearly 300,000 doses of the treatment are expected to be shipped in January nationwide.