Music and NPR News for Central and Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Local/Regional News

Drug that seems most effective against Omicron is in short supply

covid19-1600x900.jpg
Courtesy fda.gov
/

Michigan health officials say hospitals are being overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases, just as the much more contagious Omicron variant is appearing in the state.  

The drug that seems most effective against Omicron is in short supply. 

Health experts say physicians typically recommend monoclonal antibody drugs made by Regeneron and Eli Lilly to fight the early stages of COVID. 

But both companies say testing shows the drugs do not work well against the Omicron variety because it has mutated so much. 

The manufacturers estimate it will take months to create a drug that specifically targets Omicron. 

There is one monoclonal antibody that seems effective against the new variant. It comes from British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline. 

But the U.S. government never bought many doses of that drug and federal officials say they stopped sending it to state health departments last month to help conserve supply. 

Now federal officials say they will distribute about 55-thousand doses beginning this week.