TAMPA, Fla. — There is a nationwide shortage of monoclonal antibody therapy.
The Tampa Bay area is already seeing the effects of that shortage and it has everything to do with demand.
“We know that the percentage positivity rate shot up. We know that the community spread in the central Florida area has gone up,” said Dr. Vincent Hsu, Director of Infection Prevention and Hospital Epidemiologist at Advent Health.
Monoclonal treatment is used to prevent people with COVID symptoms from being hospitalized and it has been instrumental in saving lives right here in the Tampa Bay area.
With more people opting for antibody treatments, Hillsborough County is now requiring that you make an appointment before receiving the treatment at their West Tampa Community Resource Center off of North Rome Avenue.
RELATED: Appointments now required for monoclonal antibody treatment at west Tampa site due to short supply
Doctors recommend that everyone receives a booster shot because it adds an extra layer of protection. Another reason why is antibody treatment seems less effective against the omicron variant.
“So, we have seen that the omicron variant with its myriad of mutations that have occurred are less effective to some of the monoclonal antibodies that have been given,” said Dr. Hsu.
If you plan on gathering with friends and family over the next few days, doctors say, if you still are not vaccinated get vaccinated and wear a mask just to be safe.
Here’s a link to make an appointment at the West Tampa Community Resource Center: https://www.patientportalfl.com/s/?language=en_US
Here’s a link to alternative providers administering monoclonal antibody treatments: https://protect-public.hhs.gov/pages/therapeutics-distribution