A COVID-19 vaccine is one the horizon, and our hopes are high that our lives could return to normal by mid 2021. But, what about now? What can be done to manage the pandemic that continues to ravage the country and the world?

Saturday, U.S. health officials of the FDA agreed to allow emergency use of a second antibody drug to help the immune system fight COVID-19, an experimental medicine that President Donald Trump was given when he was sickened last month.

WOOD-TV reported the Food and Drug Administration authorized use of the Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. drug to try to prevent hospitalization and worsening disease from developing in patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms.

It is a one-time treatment given through an IV and will be allowed for adults and children 12 and over who weigh at least 88 pounds and who are at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 because of age or certain other medical conditions. Early results suggest the drug may reduce COVID-19-related hospitalization or emergency room visits in patients at high risk for disease progression.

Regeneron said that initial doses will be made available to roughly 300,000 patients through a federal government allocation program. Patients will not be charged for the drug but may have to pay part of the cost of giving the IV.

Initial supplies will likely be vastly outstripped by demand as the U.S. has surged past 10 million reported cases, with the country facing what health experts say will be a dark winter due uncontrolled spread of the virus.

FDA regulators authorized the Regeneron drug using their emergency powers to quickly speed the availability of experimental drugs and other medical products during our public health crises.

 

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