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Gov. Beshear: Federal government announced monoclonal antibody treatment shortage

On Tuesday, September 14, the monoclonal antibody treatment distribution change was announced.
On Tuesday, September 14, the monoclonal antibody treatment distribution change was announced.(NIH)
Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 5:03 PM CDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KFVS) - Governor Andy Beshear said on Tuesday, September 14, that the federal government announced a change in the monoclonal antibody treatment distribution in states.

According to Beshear, the change was made due to the supply shortage and extraordinary demand across the country.

He said treatments will not be able to be ordered directly by the health care providers.

The state governments will now supervise the handling of the treatments capped numbers that are delivered each week.

“I have a concern that some Kentuckians who are hesitant about the vaccine are placing faith in monoclonal antibodies. What this shortage ought to tell you is that if you’re unvaccinated and you get really sick, not only might there not be a bed in the hospital for you because they are so full, but that monoclonal antibody treatment might not be there for you either,” said Gov. Beshear. “That thing you’re counting on might not be available. What is available, and there are no supply issues at all, are these safe and effective vaccines.”

On Monday, Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, explained monoclonal antibodies are synthetic, laboratory-created antibodies.

He said they give patients a temporary immune boost, ideally helping people who are already sick have a milder disease and they do not teach a patient’s body how to create its own antibodies.

“Monoclonal antibodies are an important tool, but we have another alternative, vaccinations. Vaccines prime your immune system to create natural antibodies that your own body will produce to create a natural immune response that then can protect you for at least eight months or more,” said Dr. Stack. “It’s a lot easier to get vaccinated than to get monoclonal antibodies.”

According to the governor, the week of Tuesday, September 7, 3,642 monoclonal antibody treatments were used in Kentucky. He also said Kentucky hospitals have 9,363 treatments on hand.

139 locations around Kentucky currently have the monoclonal antibody treatments available.

Governor Beshear said his administration will continue to get available monoclonal antibodies to as many Kentucky health care facilities as possible.

“Listen, even if you disagree with me – even if you’ve stood outside my house or this Capitol and yelled about me – I care about you. I care about you and your families and I want you to be safe. These vaccines are safe. Please, go out and get yours,” said Governor Beshear.

59 percent of all Kentuckians have their first COVID-19 vaccine and 69 percent of all eligible Kentuckians that are ages 12-years-old and up have had their first dose.

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