Minnesota dials back COVID-19 antibody strategy as omicron rises to 50% of new cases
December 23, 2021
The now "dominant" omicron variant of the coronavirus is causing more than 50% of new COVID-19 cases in Minnesota, state leaders said Wednesday, prompting health systems to suspend use of two monoclonal antibody therapies that are ineffective against the strain.
Omicron is widespread enough that it would be futile to give infusions of antibodies that don't work against it - Eli Lilly's bamlanivimab/etesevimab and Regeneron's casirivimab/imdevimab, said Dr. Ruth Lynfield, state epidemiologist.
"By the end of last week, we were probably about 20 percent" in the rate of infections involving the variant, she said. "So, given the doubling rate of omicron, we do think it currently is the dominant strain."