Is there a shortage of monoclonal antibodies in Tennessee?

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Monoclonal antibodies seem to be all the rage these days.

As of last week, seven states with high COVID and low vaccination rates – including Tennessee and Georgia – accounted for nearly 70 percent of the nation’s antibody orders.

And while some are expressing concerns over a lack of supply, Jacob Standefer with Access Pharmacy says they have plenty of it to go around.

“Right now at least here in our facility I’ve got 40 appointment slots still open today and we’re wide open for tomorrow and we’ve got enough supplies to get us through at least another week,” says Standefer.

He says the problem isn’t so much a shortage – but a change in how the drugs are allocated.

“Used to, providers could order direct to get it – now the health and human services allocating it to states, and then states allocate it to providers from there.”

At CHI Memorial, infectious disease specialist Dr. Mark Anderson says there is a shortage – but it’s yet to hit the Tennessee Valley.

“Right now our supplies are still good at Memorial, and hopefully we’re beginning to see this surge subside and maybe our need will go down,” says Dr. Anderson.

But even though the treatments are available, Dr. Anderson says don’t take it as an excuse to not get vaccinated.

“This is giving manufactured antibodies to fight the virus after you get infected. It’s way better to have those antibodies already there, and of course the way we do that is vaccination.”

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