Treatments for COVID-19 are still available but supplies are limited, says physician general

Written by on January 5, 2022

Treatments for COVID-19 are still available but supplies are limited, says physician general

By Brittany Sweeney

January 5, 2022

Supply issues are hindering the availability of monoclonal antibodies and remdesivir, health officials say. (Photo | Kyle Green/AP)

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson held a “Facebook Live” Tuesday to discuss treatment availability for monoclonal antibodies and remdesivir.  

She said supply issues are stopping health care workers from being offered to everyone who is eligible.  

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“We have to use a strategic approach to make sure that those people who most need the treatment can get it and that they get better and heal from COVID-19,” she said.

The information came as cases reached the highest they’ve been since the pandemic began.  The holiday surge is causing hospital beds to fill up and leaving more people needing ways to fight back against COVID-19.

Dr. Ryan Bariola, a clinical associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Pittsburgh, joined the call with information about antiviral medication, like remdesivir and monoclonal antibodies.  

“Monoclonal antibodies are a way to otherwise temporarily give you some artificial antibodies if you haven’t yet been vaccinated, or you’re someone who didn’t respond to the vaccination or maybe you didn’t get vaccinated and responded but you still got ill anyway,” Bariola said.

Officials are prioritizing patients who are very ill, non-vaccinated or have other serious risk factors. 

Johnson said there are a few things other people can do to avoid needing those treatments all together such as getting vaccinated and then getting a booster.

People shouldn’t be discouraged by breakthrough cases, she said, because vaccines are still preventing severe illness and hospitalizations.

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