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COVID-19: Antibody-Resistant Variants; Vaccination and Social Risk Factors

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on March 18 updated fact sheets for three authorized monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies to treat COVID-19, with an advisory that SARS-CoV-2 variants might be resistant to the treatments.

The mAb therapies — Bamlanivimab, estesevimab with bamlanivimab, and casirivimab with imdevimab — are authorized for use in outpatients ages 12 or older who test positive for COVID-19, had mild to moderate symptoms for 10 or fewer days, and are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has three variant classifications: variant of interest, variant of concern, and variant of high consequence. The agency has categorized the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, B.1.427, and B.1.429 variants in the United States as variants of concern, marked by a significant reduction in neutralization by antibodies generated during previous infection or vaccination. FDA urges health care providers to determine whether mAb-resistant variants are present in their area when considering treatment options. CDC is monitoring variant proportions in each state.

CDC: COVID-19 Vaccination Low in Socially Vulnerable Counties

A new study in CDC’s March 17 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report examines the link between COVID-19 vaccine coverage and counties across the United States with a high number of social risk factor indicators.

For the study, vaccine coverage was defined as the number of residents who received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine between Dec. 14, 2020, and March 1, 2021. “Social vulnerability” was measured using the CDC index, which compiles data on rates of poverty, unemployment, low income, lack of high school diploma, and other social risk factors.

Nationally, counties with low social vulnerability had a higher average vaccination coverage rate (15.8 percent) compared with high social vulnerability counties(13.9 percent).

Researchers found wide variations by state in equity across social vulnerability index metrics and acknowledged differences in vaccine rollout plans by states and counties factored into these variations.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the pandemic.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Emily Schweich is a senior communications associate for America's Essential Hospitals.

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