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New COVID-19 antibody treatment will be distributed throughout Texas, governor says

Bamlanivimab arrives in Texas after emergency FDA approval

This photo provided by Eli Lilly shows the drug Bamlanivimab. On Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration cleared emergency use of Bamlanivimab, the first antibody drug to help the immune system fight COVID-19. The drug is for people 12 and older with mild or moderate COVID-19 not requiring hospitalization. (Courtesy of Eli Lilly via AP)

Days after a new antibody COVID-19 treatment received emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Texas officials announced the distribution of that treatment across the state on Friday.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said officials will begin sending bamlanivimab, the antibody therapy established by Eli Lilly & Company, starting early next week.

The treatment will be shipped to regions based on three factors: new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the community, new lab-confirmed COVID-19 admissions to hospitals, and total lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospitals.

“This initial allotment of bamlanivimab will help health care professionals effectively treat cases of COVID-19 within their communities and aid in reducing hospitalizations,” Abbott said. “I thank the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for providing Texas with this crucial antibody therapy that will help keep Texans safe and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

The treatment has been shown to prevent more severe bouts of COVID-19.

After becoming hospitalized with COVID-19, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was among the first to receive bamlanivimab.

The federal government has already spent $375 million to buy 300,000 vials of the drug, according to the Associated Press.