THURSDAY, Sept. 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) — As severe cases of COVID-19 rise and demand surges for monoclonal antibody treatments, the U.S. government is ordering more from two key suppliers.

The Biden administration has also taken over distributing the therapeutics, to help avoid shortages and to ensure equitable distribution, CNN reported. “HHS will determine the amount of product each state and territory receives on a weekly basis. State and territorial health departments will subsequently identify sites that will receive product and how much,” said a spokesperson from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “This system will help maintain equitable distribution, both geographically and temporally, across the country — providing states and territories with consistent, fairly-distributed supply over the coming weeks.”

Just seven states — Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana — have accounted for 70 percent of orders, CNN reported. HHS will allocate the therapeutics to states and territories each week, rather than have administration sites order them directly.

One of the manufacturers, Regeneron, announced that the U.S. government has contracted with the company for 1.4 million additional doses, making a total of 3 million doses ordered. The Regeneron treatment was authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Regeneron will supply the additional doses between now and the end of January 2022.

By Sept. 10, 2.17 million doses of existing monoclonal antibodies had been shipped to sites. Since last December, 938,000 doses have been used. About 43 percent of the distributed doses have been used as of Sept. 3.

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