St. Clair County infusion center adjusts after FDA shift on monoclonal therapy against omicron

·2 min read
Vials of the two medications used by Tri-Hospital EMS for the monoclonal antibody infusion are displayed on a table in the EMS service's office. Several medical professionals said the therapy has proven to reduce COVID-19 symptoms in high-risk patients and reduce hospitalizations and death.
Vials of the two medications used by Tri-Hospital EMS for the monoclonal antibody infusion are displayed on a table in the EMS service's office. Several medical professionals said the therapy has proven to reduce COVID-19 symptoms in high-risk patients and reduce hospitalizations and death.

St. Clair County’s infusion center that’s provided monoclonal antibody therapy is making adjustments after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration put a limit on the available options against the latest COVID-19 variant.

“Our local community infusion center, operated by Tri-Hospital EMS, has had to shift with this change,” Dr. Annette Mercatante, the county’s medical health officer, said in a release late Wednesday. “Quantities of sotrovimab are limited and a strict criteria for eligibility is being used to maximize its use. We will expand this criteria as soon as possible to include a larger group of people.”

Monoclonal therapy has been in use as a treatment for high-risk individuals experiencing mild to moderately severe symptoms of the coronavirus.

Although their emergency use authorization was not revoked, the FDA announced earlier this week that it is limiting the use of two therapies from Regeneron and Eli Lilly that reportedly weren’t effective against omicron — a variant that Mercatante said, in a recent media interview, made up the vast majority of COVID-19 cases locally and across the region and state.

That means sotrovimab, manufactured from Vir Biotechnology and GlaxoSmithKline, remains the most-recommended, and according to the county health department, the only remaining effective anti-body treatment against omicron.

However, the health department reported the option is in short supply and that strict eligibility criteria for its use are in effect.

Priority eligibility for therapeutics, including both antiviral medication and monoclonal antibody therapy, will remain until supply can meet demand as follows for those who are:

  • Any age but moderate to severe immunocompromised regardless of vaccine status

  • Age 75 and older and not up to date on COVID vaccines

  • Between 65 and 74, not up to date on vaccines, and with an existing priority risk factor

  • Pregnant and not up to date on COVID immunizations

Mercatante recommended individuals talk to their doctor about what treatments are best and available, reiterating the health department’s recommendation individuals get vaccinated and seek a booster dose for best protection against the virus.

For more, email COVID-19 questions to covid19@stclaircounty.org, call (810) 966-4163, or visit the health department website www.scchealth.co.

Contact Jackie Smith (810) 989-6270 or jssmith@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @Jackie20Smith.

This article originally appeared on Port Huron Times Herald: County infusion center adjusts after FDA shift on monoclonal therapy against COVID

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