Lubbock has been experiencing an alarming increase of COVID-19 cases in spite of the new antibody treatment that was approved by the FDA late in November.
According to Lubbock’s Health Department, the recently approved therapy is used to prevent hospitalizations of high risk patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and is delivered through a 2-hour infusion or IV. Eligible candidates for the treatment have to meet specific medical criteria such as being infected, being overweight, having uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension or being immunocompromised.
“The goal is to give it to them at such an early date so that they can avoid hospitalizations and that is one of the strategies we will use to reduce hospitalizations. Whether it be in Lubbock or throughout the state,” Governor Greg Abbott said during the treatment’s announcement.
But after almost a month of applying the Eli Lilly & Company monoclonal antibody therapy to infected people, Lubbock currently presents a hospitalization rate of 25% with more than a dozen people waiting for a bed.
As reported by the San Antonio Express News, doctors at University Medical Center in Lubbock have struggled to contact and persuade enough eligible patients to receive the treatments since the drugs need to be administered early on, before a person is hospitalized, and patients may not yet have developed symptoms.
Lubbock’s Covenant Health received its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines yesterday, although the initial batch covers less than half of Lubbock’s caregivers.