TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Monoclonal antibody treatment centers across the ArkLaTex have been affected by a national shortage of treatments such as Regeneron, amidst the latest COVID-19 surge.
The Bowie County treatment center had been working at maximum capacity since September but can now only administer 25 treatments a day.
The drugs used in the treatment are provided by the federal and state government. Last week, the State of Texas was allocated about 2,500 treatments, with 122 of those going to the Bowie County treatment center.
Texarkana Emergency Management Coordinator Eric Schlotter says the surge of positive cases since Christmas is one of the reasons for the shortage.
“Everything has been trending upward since Christmas, so our numbers are continuing to climb, our positivity rate is continuing to climb, and the requests for treatment at the infusion center are continuing to climb.”
The effects of the treatment shortage are not exclusive to Texas or Bowie County and can also be seen at De Queen Health and Wellness Center in Sevier County, Arkansas.
A pharmacist at the wellness center, Chester Barber, says the shortage couldn’t have come at a worse time.
“At the very worst possible time, we’ve had an inability to get the monoclonal treatments that we need during this spike that we’re having.”
Patients unable to receive the treatment at the De Queen center are placed on a waiting list. Barber said there were over a hundred people on the waiting list recently and the center only received 12 treatments.
According to the HHS, those at risk for serious COVID-19 that have tested positive or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive may want to consider a monoclonal antibody treatment.
Qualifying for this treatment depends on age, health history, and how long the patient has had symptoms. Patients do not need to have symptoms or test positive to qualify for mAb treatment if they are at high risk for serious COVID-19.
Those hoping to receive monoclonal antibody treatment can find treatment centers using the national map of therapeutic locations. Patients should coordinate with their respective physician or care provider before contacting a location to receive treatment.