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The monoclonal antibodies are a laboratory-created drug that is barely a year old no less experimental than the Houston Methodist Hospital vaccine.
More than a million patients, including Donald J. Trump and Joe Rogan, receive an antibody infusion, while the virus is still present in the United States.
The treatments, given in a single session, use laboratory-made copies of the antibodies that people themselves naturally make when fighting an infection.
The Americans resistant toVaccines are turning to this treatment with a fidelity that has at times baffled their doctors, pursuing long infusions after refusing vaccines that cost a hundredth of a part.
The Orders have skyrocketed so quickly this summer, from 27,000 doses in July to 168,000 doses per week in late August.So much so that the federal government warned states this week about a decline in supply.
Amid attacks on vaccines, monoclonal antibodies have become the rare coronavirus drug that has achieved near-universal acceptance.
Advocated by both traditional and conservative physicians, infusions have prevented the death toll in the country (2,000 a day and rising) from growing even further.
The federal government, which already covered the cost of treatment, currently around $ 2,100 per dose, now it has also taken over its distribution.
Over the next several weeks, the government has told states to expect reduced shipments due to impending shortages.
With seven southern states accounting for 70 percent of orders, the new process has unsettled some of its governors, who have made antibody treatment a central element of their strategy to combat the Delta variant.
The federal government bought 1.8 million more doses this week, and they are expected to arrive in the fall and winter.
Some hospitals are unsure of supplies, state health officials said, even as patients continue to search for doses.
“We have vendors struggling to get the product we need,” Kody Kinsley, who heads North Carolina’s COVID-19 response operations, said in an interview with The New York Times.
“I think what has happened is a classic logistics problem, where suddenly there is much more demand.”
The treatments have won the affection of those who refuse to receive the vaccines.
The terrors and uncertainties of contracting COVID-19 have really made them desperate for an antidote.
Some Republican governors have established antibody clinics while opposing vaccine mandates.
The increased vaccination rates, the scientists said, would avoid the need for many of the expensive antibody treatments.
The infusions take about an hour and a half, including follow-up, and require the constant attention of nurses whom the worst-affected states often cannot do without.
Government-supplied monoclonal antibodies made by Regeneron and Eli lilly, significantly shorten patients’ symptoms and reduce the risk of being hospitalized, by 70 percent, in the case of Regeneron’s antibody cocktail.
One factor driving the demand is that many patients, including vaccine skeptics, have spread the word about their seemingly miraculous recoveries.
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