New COVID-19 antibody treatment for omicron variant

Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 10:55 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 4, 2022 at 10:58 PM CST
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HERRIN, Ill. (KFVS) - There’s a new drug to fight against COVID-19, however hospitals in the Heartland may have some trouble getting their hands on it.

“I’m anticipating over the next couple of weeks a lot of cases,” said Dr. Josh Miksanek, with Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH).

Dr. Miksanek said monoclonal treatment is a powerful weapon to fight COVID-19, but the drug used is no match to the new omicron variant.

“It was pretty apparent in the first week that the antibodies that we were using in America was not going to work against it,” said Dr. Miksanek.

The hospital is shifting to a new drug.

“The drug is called Sotrovimab,” said Dr. Miksanek.

He said supply is limited, despite the increase of COVID-19 patients in their hospitals.

“We’re getting about 132 of those across the system for our organization. That’s not a lot, there’s been days we’ve done 20 infusions in a day. So that’s maybe a week supply,” said Dr. Miksanek.

However, he said they plan to start distribution 24 to 48 hours after receiving the drug to anyone who qualifies.

President Biden said tools, like these can help the fight against COVID-19.

“We have the tools to protect people from severe illness due to omicron if people choose to use the tools. We have the medicines coming along that can save so many lives and dramatically reduce the impact that COVID has had on our country,” said Biden.

Dr. Miksanek said he’s hesitant to be optimistic, looking at the area’s low vaccination rates. However, he thinks the new treatment will help make a huge difference.

“Hopefully this wave will end fast, much faster than the previous one. So hopefully 6 weeks from now it’s almost over and I think we’ll see a lot less people really sick,” said Dr. Miksanek.

Dr. Miksanek said the treatment is not an alternative to the vaccine. He recommends you get vaccinated if you can.

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