FERRIS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Ferris City Manager Brooks Williams said today that he is concerned there will be a shortage of new treatments in the immediate future.
The City of Ferris’ Monoclonal Antibody Infusion Center opened in September 2021, but Williams worries that it may not be able to provide the treatments that omicron requires. The lab has a stockpile of the monoclonal antibody Regeneron, but that drug has an efficacy of only 30 to 40% against omicron.READ MORE: American, Southwest, Other Airlines Warn Of Chaos From Imminent Verizon, AT&T 5G Rollout
A newer monoclonal antibody called sotrovimab is nearly twice as effective, but Williams warns that the issues that plagued the vaccine and Regeneron rollouts have not yet been adequately addressed.
“This is a critical and life saving therapy that needs to be available. Yet, again, we are seeing the same hiccups in distribution that we saw with the vaccine and that we saw with Regeneron. When is a lesson learned and the process improved?” asked Williams.
Williams, like other local officials, is frustrated with the process and said that the failure to deliver on promises creates a lack of trust between him and his constituents.READ MORE: Fort Worth ISD 'Thinks Outside Box', Recruiting Teachers From Mexico
“We, as government officials, continue to ask the public to trust us, but we continue to make the same mistakes over and over,” he said.
The Ferris Center is the only COVID-19 treatment, testing and vaccine center in Ellis County. The location also offers boosters and flu shots. It is staffed by MDLab, and drug costs are covered by state and federal funding, so the treatment is free of charge.
However, Williams says that Texas is down to its last shipment of omicron-effective antibodies. Once those arrive at centers across the state, Texas will have depleted its supply of antibodies for the time being.
“It is unclear when we will receive the next allocation from the United States Health and Human Services. Demand outpaces supply by many times over and we are now being encouraged to refer to the NIH guidelines for developing our own protocols for prioritizing the use of this scarce resource,” he said.
“To put that in simple terms, the state is saying they can’t help and [to] figure out who needs it the most and turn the rest away. It is unacceptable.”MORE NEWS: Parker County Sheriff's Search For Thieves Who Rigged Pumps, Stole Thousands Of Gallons Of Gas
Williams said he is calling on all elected officials at the state and federal level to remove roadblocks and red tape preventing the drugs from being distributed quickly and effectively. “People on the front line believe in and see the positive effects of these therapeutic drugs and need the supply immediately,” he said.