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Central Texas Local News | kcentv.com

Gov. Abbott says Texas will not shut down again, highlights experimental antibody treatment drug

More than 300 hospitals across Texas are expected to receive bamlanivimab antibody treatment for COVID-19.

LUBBOCK, Texas — Gov. Greg Abbott says there will not be another statewide shutdown because of COVID-19.

He made that comment Thursday afternoon in Lubbock while highlighting a new experimental antibody treatment drug. Hospitals in that city have been overwhelmed.

"It is important for everybody in the state to know that statewide we’re not gonna have another shutdown," Abbott said during Thursday's news conference, reported The Texas Tribune. "There's an overestimation of exactly what a shutdown will achieve, and there's a misunderstanding about what a shutdown will not achieve."

Gov. Abbot said "there are now known severe medical consequences to that — emotional, mental-type consequences to it — as well as the devastating financial consequences."

The last and only statewide stay-home order expired on April 30.

On Thursday, Texas reported a daily record of 12,293 new cases in Texas and 230 fatalities. That put the state across 20,000 deaths from the coronavirus since the pandemic began.

Credit: KHOU

More than 300 hospitals across Texas are expected to receive the experimental antibody treatment bamlanivimab for COVID-19, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Hospitals in the Houston and Galveston/Beaumont trauma service areas will receive more than 700 doses. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized bamlanivimab, created by Eli Lilly and Company, for Emergency.

It is authorized for treating mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients 12 years and older with a positive COVID-19 test, who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization, according to Lilly.

Bamlanivimab should be administered as soon as possible after a positive COVID-19 test and within 10 days of symptom onset. Health care workers give it via intravenous infusion. 

The governor said this is the same treatment President Donald Trump when he had the coronavirus.

Abbott said the goal right now is to try and heal Texans and ease the burden on hospitals. He added that in the December, Texas should receive more treatments as well as the two vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna once they are approved.

The governor explained that the state is prepared structurally for quick distribution of vaccines once they are approved.

RELATED: More than 300 Texas hospitals to receive 'bamlanivimab,' experimental antibody treatment for COVID-19

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Clinical trials showed the treatment could prevent a patient from going to the hospital. That indication could help our health care workers who have been battling the virus for eight months.

Bamlanivimab is NOT authorized for use in patients:

  • who are hospitalized due to COVID-19, OR
  • who require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19, OR
  • who require an increase in baseline oxygen flow rate due to COVID-19 in those on chronic oxygen therapy due to underlying non-COVID-19 related comorbidity.

Texas is receiving the second-highest number of shipments of the drug, behind Illinois, according to DSHS