BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana Department of Health is pausing administration of monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatments at LDH-run mAb treatment sites in response to a federal decision to cease state allocations, according to Thursday's press release.
LDH sites previously offered two mAb treatments: REGEN-COV® and Bamlanivimab and Etesevimab. However, recent data demonstrate that these two monoclonal antibodies are not effective against the Omicron variant, which is now the dominant variant circulating in the U.S.
As a result, the federal government paused further allocations of these monoclonal antibodies pending updated data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Louisiana has received a very limited supply -- 228 doses -- , they say, of another monoclonal antibody treatment, sotrovimab, which appears to remain effective against the Omicron variant for prevention of severe disease. Additional allocations of sotrovimab are expected in January.
They say limited doses of sotrovimab have been distributed to the following select hospitals across the state. However, the treatment will be in scarce supply until new deliveries arrive. As supply becomes more widely available, LDH will be ready to reopen sites when there a sufficient allocation for hospitals and community sites.
The following hospitals are expected to receive shipments of sotrovima:
- North Oaks Medical Center, 15790 Paul Vega MD Drive, Hammond
- Ochsner Medical Center, 1514 Jefferson Drive, New Orleans
- Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, 5000 Hennessy Blvd., Baton Rouge
- St. Francis Medical Center, 309 Jackson St., Monroe
- University Medical Center, 2000 Canal St., New Orleans
- Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, 1701 Oak Park Blvd., Lake Charles
According to LDH, monoclonal antibody treatments are a pharmaceutical intervention used to treat people who are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Monoclonal antibody treatment can prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death in high-risk patients.
Those with questions about whether monoclonal antibodies are an appropriate treatment for them should contact their provider. Those experiencing symptoms but do not have a provider can call the Combat COVID Monoclonal Antibodies Call Center at 1-877-332-6585.
According to LDH, COVID-19 cases are sharply increasing in Louisiana as Omicron continues to spread. LDH has shared updated guidance on staying safe this holiday season that you can find here [r20.rs6.net]. In short, the important thing to remember is that we have more tools to slow the spread of COVID-19 than we did at this time last year. We know layered prevention strategies can slow the spread of COVID-19:
- Get vaccinated
- If eligible, get boosted
- Wear masks in public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status
- Regardless of vaccination status, get tested before and after traveling and prior to gathering with others over the holidays
- Stay home if you are not feeling well
- Wash your hands frequently and well
If the public has any questions about vaccines, they can speak to a medical professional and learn about vaccination sites near them by calling Louisiana's vaccine hotline at 855-453-0774. For a list of locations, visit https://ldh.la.gov/covidvaccine [r20.rs6.net] or text your ZIP code to GETVAX (438829) in English or VACUNA (822862) in Spanish.
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