TAMPA, Fla. — At the West Tampa Community Resource Center on N. Rome Avenue, you can get tested, you can get vaccinated, but as of Tuesday, you cannot get monoclonal antibody treatments. According to a Hillsborough County spokesperson, a total of 138 appointments were canceled between Tuesday and Wednesday as a result of the FDA’s revised authorizations for Regeneron and Eli Lilly’s versions of the therapies.
What You Need To Know
- The West Tampa Community Resource Center no longer offers antibody treatments
- Nearly 140 appointments scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday were canceled
- DeliveRxd Pharmacy says it canceled 12 appointments for its at-home antibody treatment
- The pharmacy’s owner says he plans to eventually offer the antibody treatment sotrovimab, but it will be reserved for the sickest patients because it’s in very short supply
Ashley Good, 36, of Ridge Manor, wasn’t scheduled to get vaccinated at the Tampa site but says her own cancelation was the latest frustration in what was a challenging effort to get the antibody treatment.
“It’s just a whole level of crazy that I wouldn’t wish on anybody,” Good said.
Good said multiple members of her household are dealing with COVID, including her one-year-old son. With that plus her rheumatoid arthritis, one of the pre-existing conditions health experts say can put people at risk for severe COVID cases, Good said the treatment seemed like a smart option. She got word via text that her Thursday appointment was canceled. She called a number for the FDA that the text referred her to but was left with more questions.
“They told me to call my physician, which I did, but they didn’t even know the shots had been pulled,” Good said.
Good shared an e-mail with Spectrum Bay News 9 from her doctor’s office. It said they didn’t immediately have information for her about options moving forward.
It’s not only patients dealing with cancellations. DeliveRxd Pharmacy Owner Will Parker says he had to cancel 12 appointments for the at-home antibody treatments his business offered. Parker says the program was popular but took a hit beginning last month due to the nationwide shortage of antibody treatments.
“Unfortunately, we’ve had more patients call in than we were able to serve due to the inability of us to procure the antibodies,” Parker said
Parker said the plan is to eventually offer the intravenous antibody treatment sotrovimab, which does appear to work against omicron. He expects to get a shipment in within the next week or so but says it will be reserved for the most at-risk patients, like transplant recipients, because it is in such short supply.