OKLAHOMA CITY – State Sen. Rob Standridge said too few Oklahomans are being given information about the benefits of monoclonal antibodies. In order to counter that, Standridge, R-Norman, recently contacted Cleveland County Commissioners Rod Cleveland, Darry Stacy, and Harold Haralson, and recommended they work together to develop a plan to help better inform the public about how these treatments can reduce hospitalizations and death from COVID-19 and where they can get them.
Standridge, who holds a degree in pharmacy, said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved emergency use authorization of Casirivimab and Imdevimab (REGEN-COV) to be administered together by intravenous infusion for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and children 12 and up, who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death. The drugs are also approved for subcutaneous injection.
“These treatments can help mitigate impact of the virus before an individual is faced with hospitalization, intubation and possibly death, but in speaking with constituents, it’s apparent many people have never heard of using monoclonal antibodies,” Standridge said. “I suggested to our Cleveland County Commissioners that we develop a plan for informing citizens of their options about this treatment, and where they can get it while they still have that window of opportunity.”
Standridge said disseminating the information is critically important, because if the treatment isn’t started early in a COVID-19 infection, it may not hold the same potential benefit. For those that qualify, according to their physician or a state protocol, if adopted, the appropriate dosage should be given as soon as possible after a positive test and within 10 days of symptom onset—giving this treatment in a timely way can have a dramatic positive impact in many patients.
Standridge recommended establishing a partnership with the State Department of Health and the Secretary of Health to determine a protocol for the use of the antibodies, as well as utilizing the internet, phone support and media outreach to inform the public. Additionally, the county would join with community health partners to establish locations where citizens can obtain the treatment.
“We saw during the rollout of the COVID vaccines a robust network throughout the state where Oklahoma citizens had many options and opportunities to be educated about the vaccine and sign up to receive it,” Standridge said. “Our goal should be to provide this same robust network for citizens that become sick with COVID-19 in our county. Hopefully this can serve as a model for counties throughout Oklahoma as well.”
For more information, contact Sen. Rob Standridge at 405-521-5535 or email Rob.Standridge@oksenate.gov
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