Oklahoma's Interim Health Commissioner says he's working to get as many monoclonal antibody treatments into the state as possible.
Commissioner of Health Keith Reed says that the state has secured an extra 1,000 doses of each of the two older monoclonal antibodies used earlier in the pandemic. The federal government is also renewing weekly allocations to the state.
Reed said that it has been a challenge because three weeks ago the federal government stopped allocations of those older antibodies, called BAM and Regeneron. Omicron is now the dominant variant in the country and research shows both of those antibody treatments are not effective against the new variant.
Reed says Oklahoma pushed back on that though saying that while Omicron is likely focused on urban areas right now, rural parts of Oklahoma are likely still seeing cases of the Delta variant, a variant BAM and Regeneron are effective in treating.
Reed says while doctors can't tell at the patient level which strains someone has, he says the extra shipments will give doctors options.
"Oklahoma needs more. We're not in a position right now that there will be a hundred percent Omicron. Not yet. We know we're probably heading in that direction. But in the meantime, we need more supplies for the state itself and we were able to get that accomplished," said Reed.
Sotrovimab is a monoclonal antibody that is effective in treating the Omicron variant but there's a nationwide shortage of that drug. Reed says the issue is at the manufacturing level and the state only received 300 doses of that this week.
Reed says Oklahoma will continue to push for more.