Kentuckians can now go online to find scarce supplies of monoclonal antibodies

The number of treatments the state receives varies from week to week and is dependent upon a variety of factors, including the percentage of antibodies used from the previous week's shipment.
by Lisa Autry,

Kentuckians can now go online and find the nearest medical facility that has monoclonal antibodies to help treat COVID-19.

The treatments can be very effective for those with mild symptoms and no underlying health conditions. The lab-created antibodies boost the immune system and can keep some patients from being hospitalized. 

With the surge of the delta variant, monoclonal antibodies grew in demand, resulting in a nationwide shortage. 

Now, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is limiting how many treatments states receive each week. 

During a news conference on Thursday, Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said each state’s allotment depends on certain criteria.

“We have to utilize 70% or more of the antibodies shipped or else any state that uses less than that risks having a reduction the following week,” explained Stack. “That’s done to make sure the antibodies are going places where the demand is most and they’re getting into patients as quickly as possible.”

The number of treatments states receive also depends on their weekly case count and the number of people hospitalized with the virus. Kentucky received 802 fewer treatments this week than it did last week. 

Before the shortage, the commonwealth had 139 sites offering monoclonal antibodies, but that’s been reduced to 51 regional locations.  The Kentucky Department for Public Health is now posting those locations at kycovid19.ky.gov.

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This story first ran on WKYU, the public radio station at Western Kentucky University.

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