As the tide feels like it is slowly turning in transitioning into a new reality of living more normally with COVID-19 in the United States, we're looking at some of the trends that may also become a new reality. In Florida recently some people were able to get monoclonal antibody treatments at home.
Health experts say the drug Sotrovimab seems to be working best against the Omicron variant. And though supplies have previously been low in many areas, in early February weekly shipments from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services were allowing Hillsborough County to provide the drug to folks at home.
It's a situation that distinguished USF Health professor, Dr. Thomas Unnasch says is providing equity and safety to those who need the treatment most.
"Particularly if there's no transportation, it's very difficult to get to one of these infusion centers and make the appointment. And if you're immunocompromised the last thing you want to be doing is going into a doctor's office and sitting in a waiting room with a whole bunch of people or an infusion center for that matter," he said.
And it's news that comes as new cases are trending down.
"The last reports that I saw have a daily average of around 17,000, whereas our peak was about 68,000," said Dr. Unnasch.
That said, Dr. Unnasch adds that you should still get vaccinated and boosted if you already haven't.
And he encourages you to keep wearing a mask around others who may not be strong enough to fight off COVID-19.
"Just to be on the safe side, I wear a kn95 mask. Just trying to protect myself from others and more importantly protect others from me in case I'm asymptomatically infected," he said.
In November of 2021 as Omicron cases were spiking, there was a big push in Colorado to raise awareness of, and making monoclonal antibodies more available.
Dr. Adit Ginde, MD, MPH, is a CU Medicine emergency medicine physician with UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital and a professor of emergency medicine with the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Ginde has participated in clinical trials, and in some cases led clinical trials of monoclonal antibodies for COVID-19 in Colorado since summer of 2020, and has significant expertise when it comes to monoclonal antibody treatments.
“For patients that are early in their illness these are highly effective at clearing the virus preventing hospitalization and death and helping patients recover quicker,” said Dr. Ginde.
If you do test positive for COVID and have pre-existing conditions that put you at high risk of COVID-19 make sure and ask your doctor about treatment options available. You can find the latest information on monoclonal antibody treatments in Colorado (HERE) or (HERE).
Click here for COVID-19 vaccine information.
This story was originally published by KOAA News5.