The Tennessee Department of Health said it’s been warned monoclonal antibody treatment availability “could be temporarily reduced,” and is recommending that unvaccinated COVID-19 patients get priority over the vaccinated if a provider is having trouble meeting demand.
The treatment is given to people who contract COVID to boost their immune response and prevent severe symptoms from developing.
Guidance from the National Institutes of Health (NIH recommends prioritizing “unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated individuals who are at high risk of progressing to severe COVID-19” and “vaccinated individuals who are not expected to mount an adequate immune response” over those who are vaccinated and expected to have mounted an adequate immune response.
People are considered to be high risk if they:
- Are 65 years and older
- Have underlying conditions, such as diabetes or chronic heart disease
- Have a compromised immune system, such as, patients with cancer and those who have undergone transplantation
- You are receiving high doses of steroids or other drugs to suppress your immune system
As of earlier this week, a little over half of the Tennesseeans eligible to receive one of the available vaccines (51.7%) had received their first dose, while another 44.1% are reported to be fully vaccinated against COVID. In Anderson County, as of this week’s most current update, 53.2% of the population had received at least one dose, while 46.3% are fully vaccinated. In Campbell County, only 40% of those eligible have received at least one dose and only 34% are fully vaccinated.
You can find statewide, and county-by-county data on COVID-19, as well as the locations of vaccine providers near you, by visiting www.covid19.tn.gov. You can also schedule a vaccine appointment on that website.