“Prioritize monoclonal antibody therapeutics”, Monterey Herald – Dec. 28, 2021
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the world had neither vaccines nor therapeutics but now we have both. Although the current vaccines have all shown some efficacy, it is clear that all are less than optimal at preventing both transmission and symptomatic disease.
It is also clear that essentially every American who wants a COVID-19 vaccine has been afforded an opportunity to receive it. Availability long ago ceased being the limiting factor in vaccinating the populace. The real chokepoint now is vaccine hesitancy and while I do not agree with it, in a free country, we must accept it.
In contrast to these issues with vaccination, monoclonal antibody therapeutics have proven remarkably effective. These wonder drugs have been available now for a year yet are not the Joe Biden administration’s nor Gov. Gavin Newsom’s choice as the principal tool to fight this scourge. Florida though has had remarkable success at fighting COVID-19 with a policy of increased availability of monoclonals while eliminating social restrictions. Florida’s current COVID-19 death rate is the lowest, by a wide margin, of all the most populous states and within one or two spots the bottom ranking of all states. So why the singular focus on vaccination to the exclusion of treatment? Why the continued focus on restrictions of civil liberties?
Today I wrote Rep. Jimmy Panetta with the same questions and requested he please encourage the Biden administration/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to switch gears and, while not abandoning vaccination efforts, to move rapidly toward an early treatment based approach featuring monoclonal antibody therapeutics.
— Hugh Wilson, Monterey