Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Minnesota removes race as factor in rationing COVID-19 antibody treatment

New guidance for distributing scarce treatments came just as a conservative group challenged old rules


January 14, 2022

Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune

Monoclonal antibody infusions have grown scarce since two types were discontinued last month because they aren't effective against the omicron variant.

Minnesota has removed race as a preferential factor for determining which COVID-19 patients should receive scarce monoclonal antibodies, which are outpatient infusions that reduce the risk of severe illness and hospitalization.

Updated rationing guidance on Wednesday prioritizes infusions when they are in short supply for people who are immunocompromised or pregnant. It also gives preference to people who are older or have underlying conditions that increase their risk for severe COVID-19, but it switched to a scoring system that no longer considers race.

State leaders had been planning revisions because of the scarcity of monoclonal antibodies that was exacerbated last month when providers stopped using two of three versions because they weren't effective against the omicron variant. The policy switch occurred on the same day a conservative advocacy group, America First Legal, threatened to sue Minnesota and Utah, arguing that the states' racial preference policies were unfair.


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