Currently, the Ouachita County Medical Center is having issues keeping monoclonal antibody treatments in stock.
“It is in short supply… We are dependent on the federal government on the supply and its allocation,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said last week during his weekly COVID press conference. “It’s a nationwide challenge and they are allocating it where they see the greatest challenge.”
Hutchinson has emphasized the nationwide shortage of antibody treatments and a need for preventative measures. OCMC recommends that anyone who can get vaccinated and take their booster do so and those who cannot get vaccinated wear a mask.
President and CEO of OCMC Peggy Abbott said only one of three monoclonal antibody treatments approved for treating COVID has shown to be effective against the new omicron variant.
“We had three monoclonal antibody treatments that were available (and) with the original COVID-19 and with the delta variant, all three of the antibodies therapies were deemed to be effective against the virus,” Abbott said. “Powers-that-be that are knowledgeable in the pharmaceutical realm realized that two of those antibody therapies were not effective against the omicron variant of the coronavirus.”
State Health Secretary Dr. Jose Romero said last week that the Sotrovimab drug is “the treatment of choice today.”
Abbott said the federal government had discontinued the distribution of the other two monoclonal antibody treatments, leading to the national shortage.
“It was my understanding last week that the entire state of Arkansas received 800 doses,” she said. “It’s just simply that the demand is greater than the supply and we’re hoping that the supply we’ll catch up with the demand.”
“We are hoping that the oral anti-virals will be in our area and that the Department of Health is laying out the distribution dynamics of that,” Abbott added.