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Feds suddenly rationing monoclonal antibodies in Alabama, but there’s no shortage

(WBRC)
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 10:59 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The increase in usage of monoclonal antibodies has caused federal officials to place new limits on how much of them Alabama will get.

We’ve learned that state health officials and legislators are fighting to make sure the state gets as much as it needs.

The interesting twist is that there is no shortage of monoclonal antibodies of any kind nationwide.

As of this week, the more than 200 providers offering monoclonal antibodies will see a roughly 30 percent reduction in what they requested.

The south is reportedly receiving the lion’s share of the COVID treatment, and there’s a reason for that.

“In states like Alabama where vaccination rates have been low, we’ve seen some people touting those as something you can do so you don’t have to get vaccinated and that’s a very unfortunate situation,” said state health officer Dr. Scott Harris.

Dr. Harris explains that up until now, providers could request however much they wanted.

“It’s a little hard to understand their explanation because there’s not actually a product shortage.”

State legislators including Senator Tuberville and other health officials including former Surgeon General Regina Benjamin are advocating for regular allocation.

“We don’t need to stockpile it, we need to treat people,” said Dr. Benjamin.

Dr. Harris believes the allocation restrictions will likely be temporary given the amount of need in Alabama.

“We think this is just a shortfall that may only last into October,” said Harris.

Monoclonal antibodies have shown as high as 70 percent effectiveness at keeping people who have COVID out of the hospital.

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