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Health care services across the state are using new COVID-19 treatments after the cancelation of antibody treatments

Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 5:51 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - North Central Florida health care services are transitioning to different COVID-19 treatments after the Biden administration halted distribution of the Regeneron and Eli Lilly monoclonal antibody therapies.

The FDA has revoked emergency use authorization for the two monoclonal antibody treatments in a move Governor DeSantis says was abrupt.

Last month, Gainesville Fire Rescue launched a program to treat covid patients using Regeneron’s antibodies. Last week, department officials say they switched to a different treatment which has a more limited supply.

The coordinator of community paramedicine at GFR says they are in process of sending/reallocating the Regeneron doses to places that still use them because they have several doses left.

DeSantis says there is a lack of evidence that the monoclonal antibodies don’t work.

“We would say in Florida is we have had people use it and we’ve had good results. It’s not 100 percent, we understand that. You also don’t even know when someone goes in whether it is omicron or still the delta. Yes, mostly in Florida it is going to be omicron at this point. It is really a reckless decision to take this option away from patients.”

Both companies producing monoclonal treatments acknowledge their antibody treatments are ineffective against the omicron variant.

The white house press secretary says they are shifting to other medicines.

“We’ve approached COVID-19 treatments like filling a medicine cabinet. We’re not relying on one type, one brand, or treatment. We invested and continue to buy a variety across the monoclonal antibodies, pre-exposure prevention therapies, and oral antivirals.

Psaki added that the Biden administration has sent 71,000 COVID-19 therapeutics to Florida that work against omicron and the delta variant.

UF Health officials tell TV20 they discontinued both monoclonal therapeutics earlier this month and are using other treatments.

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