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COVID-19 treatment in short supply in the US

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An increased demand and limited supply of a COVID-19 treatment have led to a change in how the treatment will be distributed.

It’s called “monoclonal antibody treatment.” It can keep people who contract COVID to reduce hospital stays, or allow them to stay out of the hospital altogether.

And instead of health care providers ordering it directly, the North Dakota Health Department will apply for the treatment courses.

"We'll be in contact with the providers, in terms of what their requests are," said Health Department Health Resources and Response Chief Tim Wiedrich. "The Federal Government will determine the quantities that will be allocated, based on utilization rates."

The first order was to go out Friday.

"There were about 1600 courses that were pending requests from North Dakota health care facilities," Wiedrich said. "Now that we have the allocation process, we're anticipating 380 courses will be provided."

Wiedrcih says the Health Department is gathering information about how much of the treatment courses the state physically has.

"But it's reasonable to anticipate that we will have demand that will exceed the amount that's being allocated."

Wiedrcih said it is important for people to remember that the best protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19 is still the vaccination process.

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