ADVERTISEMENT

Maryland is conserving a certain type of COVID-19 treatment

December 24, 2021 GMT

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — State health officials in Maryland are advising health care providers to conserve a certain type of lifesaving antibody treatment for COVID-19 patients.

The Baltimore Sun reported Thursday that there are three types of monoclonal antibody treatments that have been approved by the federal government. But only one appears to be effective against the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The effective medication is now in limited supply across the nation. And it’s being reserved for patients who are 65 and older or for people who are immunocompromised.

The scarcity of the one effective omicron treatment will have an impact on the state’s response to the latest surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

ADVERTISEMENT

Gov. Larry Hogan and the state’s health department made monoclonal antibodies a cornerstone of fighting the virus, especially among residents in congregate care settings such as nursing homes.

The treatments were once widely available in Maryland and are said to reduce the risk of serious COVID-19 illness by as much as 70% to 80% in some patients.

Maryland Department of Health spokesman Andy Owen said additional therapies approved by the federal government will be incorporated in the state’s response. He added that monoclonal antibody therapies will continue to be made available to nursing home residents.