PUEBLO — The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment announced that the monoclonal antibody site in Pueblo closed down today. The site was located off of West 13th St. and N. Grand Ave.
The decision was made due to the likely ineffectiveness of 2 of the 3 antibody treatments used against the omicron variant of COVID-19. The state of Colorado is given a set amount of each of the three treatments each week.
The three treatments are called sotrovimab, bamlanivimab/etesevimab, and REGEN-COV. The only one of these treatments the US Department of Health and Human Services believes to be effective against the omicron variant is sotrovimab.
Due to the perceived ineffectiveness of 2 of the 3 treatments, the state of Colorado has decided not to use antibody treatments in areas where the omicron variant makes up greater than 80% of cases, which Pueblo falls under.
The omicron variant currently makes up 95% of COVID-19 cases in Pueblo, according to PDPHE.
Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state epidemiologist says the effectiveness of the monocloal therapies is similar to decreasing immunity against COVID-19 and decreasing vaccine effectivenes. Plus, the anitbody treatment is in short supply at the federal and state level.
In a press conference on Wednesday with Scott Bookman of CDPHE, he said "at one point, we were receiving almost 4,000 doses as week when we had multiple monoclonal antibodies availabe to us. Now, the state of Colorado is receiving about 300 doses a week for the entire state. So incredibly limited supply."
Colorado expects to receive more allocation of sotromivab as the production of the treatment increases, and they are also anticipating the arrival of two more antiviral treatments. They expect that this "will help increase the availability of effective treatments for COVID-19 for Coloradans."
The state of Colorado says their distribution effort of these treatments is "focused on efficiency, equity, and impact," and they expect the supply of medications effective against omicron to "increase rapidly" in the next few weeks.