Monoclonal antibody infusion is a COVID-19 treatment for people considered to be high-risk.
Some patients on the Central Coast are struggling to find a place that’s offering the infusion right now.
“We’ve infused 87 patients with 100 percent success,” said Director of Nurses at Halcyon Laser and Surgery Center, Patti Shay-Dagenais.
“There is treatment available if they truly have COVID-19 and they’re sick,” said Emergency Medical Services Agency Director of Santa Barbara County, Nick Clay.
“I would like to know what is going on and why we don’t have those available,” said San Luis Obispo County resident Trent Lunceford.
“We have probably 1,500 people in line waiting to get treatment,” said Shay-Dagenais.
The limited number of allocations given to public health departments has added to the struggle.
“That comes from the county and we get what we can get,” said Chief Medical Officer at French Hospital, Dr. Thomas Vendegna.
“We represent about one percent of the state’s population, so we get one percent of whatever the allocation happens to be, and we get an allocation once a week,” said Clay.
Places like French Hospital are doing treatments four to five times a day.
“We like people to check with their doctors so that doctor can have a conversation with the emergency room doctor to make sure they are eligible for the infusion,” said Vendegna.
“The supply is not quite meeting the demand,” said Clay.
Several locations have run out of allocations completely, including Halcyon Laser and Surgery Center.
“We have not received any official notification except that we’re on hold,” said Shay-Dagenais.
The uncertainty has led people to wonder what their next step could be in getting the treatment.
“They’re calling us crying for help and we’re helpless to help them,” said Shay-Dagenais.
“Looking ahead, I want to be prepared that if something happened to my family members, I knew what my plan was and where I could take them to get it immediately,” said Lunceford.
According to San Luis Obispo County Public Health, there are six to eight providers of this treatment in the county that are listed on their website.
SLO County Public Health says they aren’t aware of when the allocations will increase, but they know it won’t take place in January.
The HHS Therapeutics Distribution locator additionally helps individuals find the treatment they need.