Monoclonal antibody treatments have helped thousands of Arizonans avoid severe illness after contracting COVID-19. So it’s natural to wonder what becomes of this option with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) withdrawing approval for two widely used treatments that aren’t effective against the now-dominant Omicron variant.
Even without monoclonal antibody treatments made by Eli Lilly and Regeneron, Arizona still has close to 60 facilities offering sotrovimab, a monoclonal antibody treatment made by GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology. You can find information on monoclonal antibody treatment and a map of providers at azhealth.gov/FindTreatment.
The pill-based antivirals Paxlovid and molnupiravir will become increasingly available as production increases. Remdesivir, an injectable antiviral used throughout the pandemic, also is effective against Omicron. More information on antiviral treatments is available at azhealth.gov/Antivirals.
If you get COVID-19, I encourage you to look into monoclonal antibody treatments and antivirals and ask your doctor whether you are eligible.
COVID-19 has proven to be predictably unpredictable over the past two years, and the loss of two monoclonal antibody treatments against it is yet another example of that. But it’s good to know that treatments remain available that are effective at reducing the chances of severe illness from COVID-19.
We can’t discuss these treatments without noting that vaccines are a proven way to greatly reduce the chances of severe illness from COVID-19 while also reducing the chances that you will contract it. They are safe, free, widely available and highly effective.
If you’ve already been vaccinated, be sure to get a booster when you are at least five months beyond Moderna and Pfizer or at least two months after the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen shot. That makes sure your COVID-19 protection is up to date.
To find a vaccine provider, please visit azhealth.gov/FindVaccine.