Government regulation causes Covid antibody treatment scarcity at hospitals

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – One Covid antibody treatment is now much more scarce to access through hospitals. 

Med Center Health has offered the outpatient treatment monoclonal antibodies ever since it became available. 

These large doses of antibodies are for people who have COVID-19 as well as underlying health issues that put them at risk of getting worse. 

These antibodies, taken either through a series of shots or through an IV infusion, are a key treatment hospitals use to stop people infected with Covid from needing hospitalization. 

Tuesday, the federal government changed the way hospitals can access these outpatient antibodies due to high demand and low supply. 

Until Tuesday, hospitals across the nation were able to order the antibodies from drug distributors. Now the government will administer the antibodies to the state, and then the state to the hospitals. Because of this, hospitals like Med Center Health now have a smaller supply.

Med Center Health’s vice president of nursing Patrick Maloney said their hospital has seen very good outcomes from using the antibodies.

“Vaccines are very readily available. They are verified to be safer than this infusion, and they are guaranteed to be a lot more effective than this infusion…,” said Maloney. “So, that’s probably your best bet to prevent serious COVID-19 infections. This treatment will still be available to those who need it the most, but it just won’t be as available as it could’ve been.”

Until yesterday, Med Center Health facilities administered around 115 monoclonal antibodies per week. Now, Maloney says the hospital does not know yet how many of these antibodies their facilities will have access to with this new regulation change.