Michigan hospitals struggle with staffing to meet rising demand for monoclonal antibodies

Monoclonal antibodies used to treat COVID patients

Monoclonal antibodies are used to treat COVID patients.

DETROIT – State of Michigan officials say their supply of monoclonal antibodies is good enough right now.

Still, the demand is high as hospitals struggle to make it available to patients who desperately need it.

“In the state of Michigan, we have also been able to take courses that other states do not need and have them redirected to the state to help me be able to request that we’re getting from our providers,” said Elizabeth Hertel, the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

Hertel says Michigan has a sufficient antibody supply, but the demand is beginning to spike alongside cases and hospitalizations as hospital staffing has become limited.

“Most of these are infusions, which means they actually have to be injected and fused over a course of about 30-40 minutes. And so that requires staffing,” Hertel said.

The proficient rise of the spreading of the omicron variant has MDHHS worried that treatments available to the public now will not work in a few weeks.

“We’re seeing with this new variant that most of the current monoclonal antibody treatments are not effective against this variant,” said Hertel. “We do have one that does appear to be effective, and there is a limited supply of that as well.”

Coronavirus recourses

About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.