Pardee UNC Health Care to Offer Limited Infusion Therapy for Omicron, More Stringent Criteria Announced
As a follow up to its announcement regarding the closing of its outpatient COVID infusion clinic, Pardee UNC Health Care announced today that it has received a limited supply of therapeutic antibodies that are to be used in treating COVID as a result of the Omicron variant. Even though there is no way of verifying variant status at a local level, it is now believed that the majority of current COVID cases are the result of the highly contagious Omicron variant.
The entire western North Carolina region received 100 doses; Pardee has access to 40. In an effort to manage this very limited supply, criteria for eligibility has been dramatically curtailed. In addition to meeting certain eligibility criteria and needing a referral by a provider, patients must be 70 years or older if they are unvaccinated, or 80 years or older if they are vaccinated. Updated eligibility criteria can be found at pardeehospital.org/covid-treatment. Eligible patients must be referred by a provider in order to receive the treatment.
“We cannot underscore enough the importance of taking this new variant seriously,” said Dr. David Ellis, Chief Medical Officer for Pardee UNC Health Care. “We had tremendous success - and adequate supply - with available treatment options for previous variants. Unfortunately, that is simply not the case yet with Omicron.” Ellis and the medical staff at Pardee encourage the community to take extra precautions while enjoying holiday gatherings and upcoming New Year’s Eve celebrations. “Clearly being vaccinated is no longer a guarantee of not contracting the virus; however, it does provide a certain level of protection from serious illness, hospitalization and death,” adds Ellis. In addition to getting vaccinated and boosted, Ellis encourages masking in public spaces or large crowds, regardless of vaccination status, and getting a COVID test if you feel sick.