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ADPH: More monoclonal antibody treatment providers in the state

Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 10:17 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -There are nearly 200 fewer ICU beds in Alabama than there are ICU patients. Its one of the reasons health leaders are scrambling to boost access to treatment that can keep people out of the hospital.

Even though vaccinations are up in Alabama, our hospitals are still packed. For the past few weeks, there’s been more ICU patients than available beds. Those patients are receiving ICU-level care as hospitals continue to find places to treat them.

“That’s really a difficult situation to be in. Our hospitals are still very, very stressed,” State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said.

A treatment that’s keeping more Alabamians out of the hospital is making a difference according to state health leaders. They’re seeing more people receive monoclonal antibodies. Alabama now has over 200 monoclonal antibody providers and growing.

“Monoclonal antibodies can greatly reduce your risk of serious illness or needing hospitalization as long as they are given early,” Harris said.

Dr. Harris says the treatments are roughly 60 to 70% successful in preventing high risk patients from being hospitalized. Right now, the state is working to set up more larger treatment sites with the private sector. Those providers are already working with some hospitals in the state.

State health leaders say these antibodies only stay in your system for a few months and is not a replacement for vaccination. They say the best way for us to get out of the pandemic is getting more people vaccinated.

If you are 12 years and older and are at high risk for severe illness due to COVID-19, then you are eligible for monoclonal antibody treatment. You can read more about monoclonal antibodies here: https://www.wbrc.com/2021/08/17/what-are-monoclonal-antibodies/

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