Amarillo exhausts monoclonal antibody treatments; urge people to take steps to prevent infection

Coronavirus

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The monoclonal antibody treatments used to help keep those with COVID-19 from ending up in the hospital has run out in the City of Amarillo’s Infusion Center and at local hospitals.

According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, various monoclonal antibody treatments have been offered to patients through the course of the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to treat certain groups of individuals who test positive for COVID-19. These treatments have included bamlanivimab, Regeneron and sotrovimab, the only monoclonal antibody infusion treatment which has shown effectiveness against the Omicron variant, the most recent variant of COVID-19.

“On Saturday, the Amarillo Regional Infusion Center used its final doses allocated of the monoclonal antibodies,” said Amarillo Public Health Director Casie Stoughton.

Saturday, the health department said it was expecting another shipment this week from the state, but as of Wednesday they have not received it nor have they “received confirmation of its arrival.”

Since opening its doors on Sept. 22, 2021, the health department said its infusion center has seen 5,141 patients.

“That probably equals out to somewhere on the order of between 150 and 250 patients that did not get admitted to the hospital that otherwise would have,” said Amarillo Public Health Authority, Dr. Todd Bell.

Dr. Bell said we have been fortunate to be able to use the antibody infusion during the Delta surge.

“I really think that given the amount of infusions that we use, we really were able to help, in some ways, bailout our medical system and keep our healthcare system from being overwhelmed,” said Dr. Bell.

Dr. Bell said now we do not have the same availability of medication to help avoid hospitalizations.

“The reality is that if we don’t have those monoclonal antibodies, and people are, for whatever reason, unable to access the oral agents, then we are left with these low tech therapies, these low tech things that people can work to try to do at home because that’s the only things that we have,” said Dr. Bell. “If somebody becomes sicker, then they need to seek the healthcare, additional health care, and that’s where our hospitals and our physicians are standing and we’ll be able to help, but we are truly dependent on the community to really buckle down and this last surge, hopefully last surge, and help us avoid overwhelming the healthcare system.”

“The very best thing that we can do is to prevent getting COVID, and so the very best way to do that is to wear a mask, stay home if you’re sick, if you’ve been exposed, stay home, you know, don’t spread it to other people. Make sure that you’re vaccinated and boosted,” said Stoughton.

According to previous reports, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently requested an additional supply of the various monoclonal antibodies from the federal government. This comes after the services of other treatment centers throughout the state, including ones located in Austin, Fort Worth, and The Woodlands, have had to adjust after running out of supply of specifically the sotrovimab treatment.

Officials say that the clinic, located at 808 S. Johnson, will resume normal operations once more supply is received.

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