Federal Distribution of COVID-19 Tests and Treatments
Date Released- January 12, 2022
The distribution of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) is currently divided into four steps
- The Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (HHS/ASPR) announces when the distribution of monoclonal antibodies will begin. The distribution of this treatment follows a State and Territory-Coordinated Distribution System. This system was changed from a direct ordering process on September 13, 2021. You can find the most current state-distribution data here. This list is updated every week.
- The state and/or territorial health departments allocate the monoclonal antibodies to administration sites based on the level of need. However, the HHS determines the weekly amount of monoclonal antibody treatments each state/territory gets based on the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalization rates, and the state’s current antibody treatment use and inventory. States will then allocate treatments for administration sites within their jurisdictions.
- Once administration sites receive mAbs from the state or their territory, they begin dispensing them to eligible patients. Detailed information on patient eligibility and high-risk factors can be found here.
- These administration sites must report the mAbs use and their inventory every Wednesday by 11:59 PM Eastern. The reporting requirements for hospitals, hospital pharmacies, long term care facilities, skilled nursing facilities, and non-hospital facilities via HHS TeleTracking can be found here.
Pfizer ad Merck Oral Antivirus Pills
On Tuesday, January 4, 2022, President Biden announced the purchase of twenty million Paxlovid pills (Pfizer) and 3.1 million Molnupiravir pills. The Biden Administration instructed their health officials to hasten the procurement process of these new antiviral pills since both Paxlovid and Molnupiravir (Merck) have now been approved by the FDA. It may be a few weeks before these pills are allocated to hospitals and other healthcare facilities for use.
The hope for both Paxlovid and Molnupiravir is that they will allow physicians to treat COVID-19 patients in their early stages of illness and help decongest our overwhelmed hospitals. These pills are not supposed to be used as preventative drugs.
Paxlovid is intended to treat patients who may experience a higher risk of hospitalization after contracting COVID-19. Currently, patients who are prescribed Paxlovid must be symptomatic and must generally have at least one risk factor that may further complicate their health while having COVID-19. Paxlovid is currently approved for individuals over the age of 12.
Molnupiravir is approved for individuals over the age of 18. The pill is to be used for those who test positive for COVID-19 and bear a higher risk of hospitalization or death from health complications.
President Biden believes that there will be more than four million various COVID-19 treatments in use across the United States before the end of January 2022. There is no information yet on whether the medications will be dispersed the same way as mAbs.
On December 21, 2021, President Biden announced his administration’s purchase of 500 million at-home rapid COVID-19 tests. These tests are free to the public and will be distributed through direct ordering on a newly launched government website beginning this month. Tests will be delivered through the mail. Last week, the Biden Administration directed FEMA to assist with deploying these COVID tests, opening testing sites, and working with all levels of state, local, and Tribal health departments.
The Biden Administration released a statement saying that the website to order COVID-19 tests will launch sometime this weekend (January 14-16).