Texas to provide COVID-19 antibody therapy to some hospitals as early as next week


This photo provided by Eli Lilly shows the drug Bamlanivimab. On Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration cleared emergency use of Bamlanivimab, the first antibody drug to help the immune system fight COVID-19. The drug is for people 12 and older with mild or moderate COVID-19 not requiring hospitalization. (Courtesy of Eli Lilly via AP)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday the state Department of State Health Services will be distributing a shipment of an antibody therapy for COVID-19 as early as next week to acute care hospitals across the state.

The shipment will be of bamlanivimab, the Eli Lilly & Company monoclonal antibody therapy, according to the governor’s office. Weekly shipments of the therapy are given to the state of Texas at no cost through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

DSHS will determine where the first shipments of bamlanivimab will go based on the number of new confirmed cases in the community, new lab-confirmed hospital admissions and total lab-confirmed COVID-19 hospital patients.

“This initial allotment of bamlanivimab will help healthcare professionals effectively treat cases of COVID-19 within their communities and aid in reducing hospitalizations,” said Abbott in a press release Friday.

Bamlanivimab is for outpatient use in those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are at increased risk for more severe symptoms, the governor’s office said. When used before patients become very sick, the treatment has been shown to prevent hospitalizations.

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