Monoclonal antibodies could have become the magic treatment for covid-19. However, not many patients are receiving this treatment across the US even though it was used to treat President Donald Trump, former New York city Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and several other prominent personalities.
Most of the patients who received this treatment recovered quickly. The treatment was effective even in those cases where people had risk factors such as age and weight issues. But the treatment is not widely used to treat covid-19 across the US. According to experts, there are several reasons including Logistical and political issues with regards to using this treatment for covid-19 patients.
Why Monoclonal Antibodies Are Still Not A Popular Treatment For Covid-19?
Monoclonal antibodies imitates the natural process of our immune system and provides the body with relevant molecules to fight the disease. They are specific to each disease and they have shown good effectiveness against various health conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, ebola and some types of cancer.
When Trump got infected with coronavirus in October, he was admitted to hospital and given monoclonal antibodies. The president was very much impressed with the treatment and he promised to make them freely available to all covid-19 patients across the US. The government has delivered more than 250,000 doses of monoclonal antibody therapies to several hospitals across the country.
However, enough research is not conducted in this regard and many doctors are not sure that monoclonal antibodies help patients to recover faster than usual. Some important panels that recommend doctors about treating covid-19 patients did not support the use of monoclonal antibodies. For this reason, several doctors are still hesitant to prescribe the treatment.
Infectious disease Specialists are of the opinion that even though this looks promising, there is still no conclusive evidence to show that it has clinical benefits. Most of the hospitalized patients are too sick to benefit from the treatment and it will be a huge challenge to deliver the drugs to patients who are having mild symptoms.
Apart from that, most of the hospitals are now busy with the mass vaccinations and they have limited staff available to deliver monoclonal antibodies. The process of delivering monoclonal antibodies is very difficult as it requires an hour of infusion followed by nearly two hours of observation. It is very tricky to deliver the drugs by infusion methods as the patients have to visit dialysis centres or cancer treatment facilities.
The health care authorities have used only about 20% of the 250,000 doses of monoclonal antibodies so far. In order to boost the usage of monoclonal antibodies, the doses have been delivered to retail pharmacies that have infusion centers and other at-home infusion services.
Experts suggest that patients who are at high risk for serious diseases can ask their doctors for this treatment and they can recover quickly with this treatment. The treatment works best when it is used in the initial stages of the infection. For most common patients, this treatment still remains a distant dream as they are not able to get suitable medical facilities that are able to provide this treatment.
In the early stages of treating covid 19, many people thought that this could change the entire dynamics of treating the pandemic. However, things did not move forward due to logistics issues and lack of preparation among hospitals with regards to providing such treatment for covid 19 patients. Even though a vaccine is in place as of now, it is still important to focus on treatment options as the vaccine cannot help to immediately treat a covid 19 patient. In the near future, such treatment options may become popular if the governments make suitable facilities to deliver the treatment.