AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas officials on Friday requested federal aid for increased COVID-19 testing and treatment following reports that the state is running low on the antibody treatment that has proved most effective against the omicron variant.
In a statement, Gov. Greg Abbott said the Texas Division for Emergency Management and the Texas Department of State Health Services made the request.
They are seeking federal resources for additional COVID-19 testing locations in six counties, increased medical personnel and more sotrovimab, the monoclonal antibody treatment that has proved most effective against the more-transmissible omicron.
“Detecting COVID-19 and preventing COVID-related hospitalizations are critical to our fight against this virus,” Abbott said.
Abbott called on the Biden administration “to step up in this fight and provide the resources necessary to help protect Texans.”
On Monday, the Texas Department of State Health Services said that regional infusion centers in some of the state’s largest cities— Austin, El Paso, Fort Worth, San Antonio and The Woodlands— “have exhausted their supply of sotrovimab.”
The scarcity stems from a national shortage of the treatment, according to the agency.
The centers are expected to receive new shipments in early January.