Chief Doctor Says Local Covid Cases Trending Downward and Other Treatment Options Remain Available
By Joe Morey
Following the revised emergency use authorization for two monoclonal antibody combinations to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), LCO Health Center Chief Medical Doctor Steve Miszkiewicz said LCO still has several therapy options they utilize.
The FDA effectively halted the use of two main treatments, Regeneron and Eli Lilly because they are not effective against the dominant Omicron variant, which Dr. Steve had told the TGB last month he credits with saving the lives of several of our Elders here at LCO.
Dr. Steve said they stopped using those treatments a couple weeks ago as the Omicron variant is now about 95% of the local positive cases, although, he reported total cases are decreasing at this time.
“We had only six positives on Thursday and 13 so far this week which is a dramatic decrease from last week at this same time,” Dr. Steve noted. “Last week we were at 46. I hope and pray that we have a lull.”
In a report provided to LCO News by Dr. Steve, although those treatments were discontinued, “Importantly there are several other therapies – Paxlovid(oral meds), sotrovimab(IV Infusion), Veklury (remdesivir)(IV Infusion), and molnupiravir(oral meds) – that are expected to work against the omicron variant, and that are authorized or approved to treat patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk for progression to severe disease, including hospitalization or death. Healthcare providers should consult the NIH panel’s COVID-19 treatment guidelines and assess whether these treatments are right for their patients.
“While it’s critical that we have ways to treat those who contract COVID-19, the authorized treatments are not a substitute for vaccination in individuals for whom COVID-19 vaccination and a booster dose are recommended. Data has clearly demonstrated that the available, safe and effective vaccines can lower your risk of developing COVID-19 and experiencing the potential associated serious disease progression, including hospitalization and death.”