LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The first medical treatment for COVID-19 has been distributed throughout Lubbock and soon throughout the state of Texas.
Bamlanivimab is an anti-body therapy that was approved by the FDA, through emergency use authorization, only ten days ago.
The drug will help people in high risk groups avoid hospitalization. Specifically, people who are over the age of 65 with comorbid conditions.
“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,” Abbott said.
The treatment is administered through an IV line and it takes about an hour to get into the blood stream. However, Chief Medical Officer John Hellerstedt said there are a few risks that come from the infusion process.
“So people can have what are called infusion reactions, which happens to things that go in. There is a risk with any medication, especially if it is being infused directly into the body of a very severe allergic reaction that we call anaphylaxis. The incident of both of these, with this drug is low,” Hellerstedt said.
Soon we will hear from local officials about how they will deploy this drug to rural hospitals, nursing homes and people who qualify. As officials sort out the details, local hospitals have already received the treatment.
“Lubbock has already received the first allocation of this drug, there will be additional allocations made on a weekly basis that will continue to add to the current allocations,” Abbott said.