Two COVID-19 Treatments No Longer Authorized for Use

Published 1:27 pm Thursday, January 27, 2022

Limited Efficacy Against Omicron


Atlanta – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that two monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatments for COVID-19 are currently not authorized for use due to their limited effectiveness against the Omicron variant. Omicron is still circulating widely in the U.S., including Georgia.

Monoclonal antibodies are synthetic, laboratory-created proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off the virus that causes COVID-19. The virus that causes COVID-19 can mutate over time, resulting in certain treatments not working as effectively against all variants such as Omicron. Data shows that Lilly’s bamlanivimab plus etesevimab and Regeneron’s casirivimab plus imdevimab are not effective against the Omicron variant which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is still responsible for about 99% of new COVID cases in Georgia.

There are several other therapies such as oral antivirals from Pfizer and Merck, remdesivir (intravenous antiviral), and sotrovimab (mAb) that have been shown to be effective against the Omicron variant. These treatments are for non-hospitalized patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19, who are at high risk for severe illness, hospitalization, or death. Depending on your age, health history, and how long you have had symptoms, you may qualify for treatment if infected. You will need to discuss your eligibility with your healthcare provider.

While it’s critical that we have ways to treat individuals who contract COVID-19, the authorized treatments are not a substitute for vaccination and recommended booster dose. Data have clearly demonstrated that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and can lower your risk of developing COVID-19, or serious illness, hospitalization, or death if you do get sick.

Basic prevention measures should also be followed to help prevent further spread of COVID and mitigate outbreaks of infection, especially in public settings: wear a mask, physically distance, and wash your hands frequently with soap and water.

For updates on COVID-19, follow @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Facebook.

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Beal-Shephard tries to weather the storm over City HallBy Neil B. McGahee Managing Editor Cordele City Commissioner Vesta Beal-Shephard was elected in 2001 to represent the people of Ward One. By all accounts, she has done a very good job of relating to the citizens living in her ward. Recently, however, a dark cloud has settled over City Hall. From the first day of his term, newly-elected commission chairman Joshua Antwan Deriso began taking verbal snipes on social media at some of the other commissioners. Shephard says she just ignored it at first but on April 9, Deriso posted on Facebook “…It was much anticipated for Comm. Rainey to be against change. Comission (sp) Shephard fights against me the hardest…does not know much about government at all…She needs to be voted out next year 2023.” A few days later, he posted live saying …“I am totally over the games, the political stuff…a lot of people want to make what I said about Commissioner Shephard something about disagreement with Commissioner Shephard. It was her ignorance and short-sightedness…not able to understand what we can do as a government. “When there were people in charge that didn’t look like us…white people… she didn’t question anything. Since I became chairman, she has blocked everything…you don’t know what you are doing; you don’t know what you are talking about.” Shephard winces as she listens to Deriso. “I don’t do drama and I don’t do pettiness,” she said. “I refute everything he has said about me. I’m not angry with Josh; I am somewhat disturbed that he has targeted me, a citizen of Cordele; a black female…he accused me of loving white folks. Well I do love white folks, and brown folks and black folks — Haitian, Jamaican, Indian, Cuban, Mexican — I have no discrimination to anyone. My job is to facilitate for people in this ward and when I vote, I vote my conviction.” Shephard said she doesn’t know why Deriso has such hard feelings against her. “It’s so sad, I have to say that I never saw it coming,” she said. ”But I have to voice my opinion.” But one sad thing has evolved from this. “This is the first time I have been discriminated against by a fellow commissioner,” she said. “I used to invite people to my home if they had a problem. But I had to stop that. If you want to meet with me, we will have to go to a public area or to my office at city hall. I am going to keep my distance for the simple reason that I don’t want to endanger myself.