DHEC Encourages Use of Monoclonal Antibody Treatments for COVID-19
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Oct. 8, 2021
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Recent shortages of monoclonal antibodies (mAb) for use in the treatment of patients with COVID-19 in South Carolina have been resolved at this time, and South Carolina now has sufficient supplies to provide for every resident who could benefit from these effective treatments. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) encourages healthcare facilities, providers, and eligible patients to take advantage of this treatment.
“Where even just a few weeks ago, South Carolina was struggling to get enough doses of monoclonal antibody treatments to meet the demand of the recent Delta surge, we now have enough supplies of the treatments to meet existing demand now and going forward,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director.
Currently, mAb treatments for people with COVID-19 are authorized by the Federal Food and Drug Administration under an emergency use authorization, and data shows that monoclonal antibody treatments are successful in reducing the chance of severe disease, hospitalization and death by 70 percent, and the treatment shortens the duration of symptoms by an average of four days for those people.
Monoclonal antibody treatments may help people who:
- have a positive COVID-19 test and had symptoms for 10 days or less
- Are at high risk of getting more serious symptoms
- Are not hospitalized or requiring supplemental oxygen (or needing an increase above baseline)
The FDA has granted Emergency Use Approvals (EUAs) for three mAb treatments currently: etesevimab and bamlanivimab, REGEN-COV (casirivimab and imdevimab), and sotrovimab. These antibodies work by directly blocking the effect of the COVID-19 virus in patients that are already infected.
Treatment using these antibodies must be authorized and ordered by a doctor or medical provider. Those eligible to receive the treatment are at-risk individuals ages 12 and older who test positive for COVID-19 and exhibit mild to moderate symptoms that began within the last 10 days. In addition, individuals with COVID-19 are not eligible for the treatment if they have been or are currently hospitalized or have received oxygen to assist with normal breathing.
DHEC is working with providers to expand treatment locations, including to areas where there currently are no providers. South Carolina currently has 11,534 mAb treatments available for eligible residents. To date, 32,686 COVID-19 patients in South Carolina have been treated with monoclonal antibodies.