COVID-19 antibody shipments to be cut by 30%: 6 details

States will see a significant reduction in shipments of COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatments from the federal government beginning March 21 as the White House's request for $15.6 billion in pandemic funding stalls in Congress, ABC News reported. 

ABC News obtained internal government planning documents that showed shipments of the treatments could be cut by 30 percent. 

"The allocation projections are subject to change and should be used for planning purposes only," the document said. "Of course, the COVID-19 environment remains dynamic." 

Six details: 

1. Weekly distributions of GlaxoSmithKline and Vir's sotrovimab antibody, which has performed well against omicron, will be cut from 52,230 to 35,000 doses through the next three weeks at least, based on the documents. 

2. Meanwhile, weekly allocations of Eli Lilly's bebtelovimab antibody, also shown to be effective against omicron and the BA.2 subvariant, will be reduced from 49,000 to 30,000 doses. 

3. Beginning March 31, AstraZeneca's Evusheld — a pre-exposure prophylaxis for COVID-19 meant for immunocompromised people — will be allocated on a monthly basis, and unordered doses will be swept up at the end of the month. 

4. Without additional funding and orders, the supply of Pfizer's Paxlovid and Merck's molnupiravir antiviral pills could also run out by September. 

5. Beginning March 19, unordered COVID-19 treatment doses in each distribution cycle will be reclaimed into the federal inventory for future redistribution, according to the documents. This new policy is an effort to ration drugs and ensure limited supplies are flowing in the most efficient manner amid stalled COVID-19 funding, ABC News reports. 

6. A purchase of hundreds of thousands more monoclonal antibody courses planned for this week will be canceled, with the White House anticipating the U.S. will fully exhaust the current supply by May.

 

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