The arrival of a bamlanivimab, the first medical treatment for COVID-19, in Lubbock along with efforts to combat increasing COVID-19 hospitalizations were information Texas Gov. Greg Abbott provided the Lubbock community Thursday afternoon.
In addition to Lubbock, the treatment, which was developed by Eli Lilly and Company, has arrived in places across Texas, Abbott said during the news conference hosted at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center. This treatment is similar to the treatment President Donald Trump utilized to recover when he contracted COVID-19.
The treatment will be utilized best for those facing the early stages of COVID-19, Abbott said.
“The goal is to give it to them at such an early date that it would keep them out of hospitals, and that will be one of the strategies used to make sure we are able to reduce hospitalizations, whether that be in Lubbock or any place in the state of Texas,” he said.
Lubbock received its first allocation of the treatment, Abbott said. There will be additional allocations made on a weekly basis.
“Over the course of December, we are anticipating more treatments, but also, we are anticipating two vaccines to be approved in December: one by Pfizer and one by Moderna,” he said, “and there could be more than that.”
Both Pfizer and Moderna have shown an effective rate of 95 percent, which is extremely high for a vaccine, Abbott said.
Along with the treatment, Abbott said the state provided Lubbock 327 medical personnel, who currently are operating in Lubbock, 950 personnel supporting Lubbock and Amarillo and 1,278 personnel to support the two cities if need.
The state also set up COVID-19 testing sites in Lubbock, provided personal protective equipment and auxiliary medical units at Lubbock hospitals, Abbott said. These units may be locations dedicated to delivering the antibody therapeutic treatment.