Because of new FDA guidelines, Hillsborough stops offering antibody therapy treatments

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Hillsborough County announced Tuesday that it has stopped offering antibody therapy treatments because of new guidelines from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

The FDA has limited the use of some monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19 because of the omicron variant. The FDA has revoked authorization of “bamlanivimab and etesevimab (administered together) and REGEN-COV (casirivimab and imdevimab).” The FDA says, “these treatments are not authorized for use in any U.S. states, territories, and jurisdictions at this time.”

Because Hillsborough had used Regeneron’s REGEN-COV or Eli Lilly’s bamlanivimab, Hillsborough will no longer offer these treatments because they “are not effective against the omicron variant, which accounts for 99 percent of the nation’s cases.”

All monoclonal antibody appointments have been canceled. They had been offered at Hillsborough’s West Tampa Community Resource Center.
COVID-19 testing, vaccinations and boosters

The West Tampa Community Resource Center, 2103 N. Rome Ave., Tampa, FL 33607, is a walk-up site that is still offering free COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, Pfizer pediatric vaccines, and booster shots for those who are eligible.
Appointments are not necessary.

Three additional sites in Hillsborough offering free COVID-19 testing

According to a Tuesday news release, Hillsborough County has three additional sites offering free COVID-19 testing with no appointments needed:

  • Hillsborough Community College Brandon campus, 10451 Nancy Watkins Dr., Tampa, FL 33619, is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. This is a drive-thru site. The entrance for the Hillsborough Community College Brandon campus COVID-19 testing site is off East Columbus Drive.
  • Progress Village Park, 8701 Progress Blvd., Tampa, FL 33619, is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This is a walk-up COVID-19 testing site.

Other sites for COVID-19 vaccinations and testing

Local pharmacies and other sites offer COVID-19 tests and vaccinations.

For more information, visit HCFLGov.net/COVID19 or Vaccines.gov.

Information from AP

According to the Associated Press on Jan. 24, 2022, “U.S. health officials say COVID-19 antibody drugs from Regeneron and Eli Lilly should no longer be used because they don’t work against the omicron variant. The Food and Drug Administration said Monday it is revoking emergency authorization for both drugs. If they prove effective against future variants, the FDA says it can reauthorize their use. The move was expected because both drugmakers had previously said their drugs are less effective against omicron. Still, the federal action could trigger pushback from some Republican governors who have continued promoting the drugs against the advice of health experts.”