EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Supply for the monoclonal antibody treatment effective against the Omicron variant is still limited across the nation. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) said El Paso only received 200 courses of the sotrovimab this week.
DSHS says Texas received a total of 2,406 courses from the federal government this week, 200 of which came to El Paso.
“Were talking about 2,400 courses for the entire state of Texas and there’s a lot of people getting COVID out there. Now this isn’t for everybody of course this is for people who are really high risk of developing severe covid and going into the hospital,” said Chris Van Deusen, Director of Media Relations for the DSHS.
El Pasoan Roberto Sanchez was relieved he was able to get his wife who is high risk and tested positive an appointment to get the antibodies on Wednesday.
“I feel really good and I hope it helps because I hate seeing her this way, she’s had a really hard time with it,” said Sanchez while he waited in the parking lot for his wife to finish her treatment. “We were scheduled at 8 am but they called us back and told us it would be 4:30 because they were overbooked.”
As we reported Texas ran out of the antibody treatment in December. DSHS says allocations must come from the federal government.
“The federal government purchased up the entire supply so we actually, DSHS actually bought 1,000 courses of Sotrovimab back in September when it was still available for purchase but after that, the federal government bought the supply up so they’re the only source for it,” said Van Deusen.
Van Deusen says the demand is higher than the supply as Omicron spreads. Explaining that sotrovimab is the only antibody treatment effective against the new variant.
“There are three different antibody treatments authorized for people who are not hospitalized. Sotrovimab is the one that is still effective against the omicron variant the other two are not,” said Van Deusen.
DSHS officials expects for there to be a reoccurring allocation each week but doesn’t know how much it will receive until the week of.