COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina health officials say the state has solved a recent shortage of monoclonal antibodies that are used in COVID-19 treatments.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced on Friday that the state now has "sufficient supplies" to provide all residents who could benefit from monoclonal antibody treatments. As such, DHEC is encouraging healthcare facilities and others to take advantage of the treatments.
“Where even just a few weeks ago, South Carolina was struggling to get enough doses of monoclonal antibody treatments to meet the demand of the recent Delta surge, we now have enough supplies of the treatments to meet existing demand now and going forward,” DHEC Director Dr. Edward Simmer said in Friday's statement.
Three monoclonal antibody treatments have been allowed an emergency use authorization by the Federal Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of people with COVID-19. The three treatments are known as etesevimab and bamlanivimab, REGEN-COV (casirivimab and imdevimab), and sotrovimab and work by directly blocking the effect of COVID in patients that are infected.
According to DHEC, data shows these treatments are successful in reducing the chance of severe disease, hospitalization, and death by 70 percent. The health agency added that the treatments are also known to shorten the duration of symptoms by about four days in those people.
Treatments are helpful to those who have a positive COVID test and have had symptoms for 10 days or less, are at high risk of getting more serious symptoms, and are not hospitalized or requiring supplemental oxygen (or needing an increase above baseline.
Treatment with antibodies must be authorized and ordered by a doctor. South Carolina currently has more than 11,500 monoclonal antibody treatments available for use. To date, more than 32,600 patients in the state have been treated with them.