By Guy Page
Vermont hospitals this month have administered 13 times more doses of monoclonal antibodies in November than in September, Health Commissioner Mark Levine said at today’s press conference.
In September, only 17 doses of the injected, Covid-fighting antibodies were administered in Vermont hospitals, Levine said. The number in November rose to 225.
There’s no hard data yet on how well monoclonal antibody treatment is working. The state is tracking that information, he said. Anecdotal information is positive and even the relatively light use of monoclonal antibodies in hospitals is encouraging, Levine said. Monoclonal antibody treatments typically are given in an out-patient setting, to keep people out of the hospital.
“If they don’t end up in the hospital….that’s a very positive sign,” Levine said. The Health Dept. is working on acquiring more doses and plans to set up mobile clinics, he said.
Levine added that monoclonal antibodies are being used both for treatment and as a “post-exposure prophylactic” to fight an outbreak (71 cases) at the Crescent Manor nursing home in Bennington.
And speaking of treatments, an FDA decision is expected within weeks on Molnupiravir, the Merck anti-viral treatment that is a chemical cousin of Ivermectin. Levine noted that latest studies show it works only 30% of the time, down from the 50% estimate announced this fall. “We’ll await the FDA review of all of the data,” he said.