October 06, 2021
Manchin, Capito, McKinley, Miller Urge Biden Administration To Allocate More COVID Treatments To West Virginia
Washington, DC - Today, U. S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and U.S. Representatives David B. McKinley (R-WV) and Carol Miller (R-WV) sent a letter urging the Biden Administration to allocate additional doses of Monoclonal Antibody (mAb) treatments to West Virginia, specifically the Regeneron (REGN-COV) treatment that can be administered more easily in rural non-hospital settings.
MAb treatments can help West Virginians avoid hospitalizations and serious complications from COVID-19. Additional doses will help reduce the stress on our hospitals at a time when West Virginia is experiencing high rates of COVID-19 infections.
On Friday, Governor Jim Justice sent a letter to President Biden asking him to reconsider the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) decision to reject West Virginia’s request for a larger allotment of REGN-COV doses.
“West Virginia has experienced a surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in recent weeks, with both reaching pandemic records,” said McKinley. “We need to use every tool available to save lives and reduce the stress on our hospitals, including monoclonal antibody treatments. Simply put, greater availability of these treatments will save lives.”
“Ensuring our hospitals, pharmacists and healthcare providers are equipped with enough of the right treatment to care for our fellow West Virginians during the COVID-19 pandemic is vital,” said Senator Manchin. “Our bipartisan request for more Regeneron monoclonal antibody treatment, which is the best option for our rural communities because it can be administered outside of a hospital, is a simple request to help ensure our hospital emergency rooms are not burdened further. The best way to protect our communities is to get as many people as possible vaccinated, and I urge every West Virginian to protect themselves, their friends, family and loved ones from this terrible virus by getting vaccinated.”
“As West Virginia continues to deal with the challenges that come with the rise of COVID Delta Variant cases, it is essential we have all of the resources necessary. Monoclonal antibodies are one of those resources. I will continue to work with my West Virginia colleagues to ensure we receive a supply that meets the unique needs of our rural communities as we continue to battle this current surge,” Senator Capito said.
“Antibody treatments play a critical role in helping patients recover from COVID-19,” said Congresswoman Miller. “It is imperative our state has enough doses to keep our loved ones healthy, while simultaneously alleviating the burden on our hospitals. I am committed to continue working alongside my colleagues to unlock the full powers of the federal government and ensure West Virginia has the resources it needs to effectively combat this virus.”
To read the full letter to HHS, click here.
· On September 13, 2021 HHS transitioned allocations from a direct ordering process to federally controlled distribution. Previously, seven states, not including West Virginia, received 70% of the nation’s mAb supply.
· On September 24, 2021, West Virginia made a formal request to HHS for a weekly allotment of 3,000 doses of Regeneron monoclonal antibody treatment through the month of October. The request asked for 6,000 doses per week in November.
oThis request was denied by HHS on September 29, 2021.
· Last Friday, October 1, Governor Jim Justice sent a letter to President Biden requesting his reconsideration.
o“West Virginia officials press feds for more antibody treatments,” WV News, 10/1/21
o“Justice and Hoyer: State asks Biden for more antibody doses; Marsh reports on new antiviral treatment pill from Merck,” The Dominion Post, 10/1/21
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