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When will coronavirus end?
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Antibody treatments will help slow the spread

Antibody treatments being used to mitigate the symptoms of Covid-19 could help stop the pandemic from getting worse—and possibly help it get better. Antibody treatments could help save the immunocompromised and the elderly from dying, causing death rates to plummet.

The Argument

A growing number of antibody treatments have shown success at either preventing or mitigating the effects of Covid-19. And with the prospect of a vaccine treatment still a few months out, antibody treatments could help stop the spread of the virus—and keep some patients alive. Jacob Glanville, CEO of the drug manufacturer Centifax, said that an antibody treatment could actually be more effective than a vaccine because of the risk that a Covid-19 vaccine would not be effective on everyone.[1] According to Glanville, getting antibody treatments into hospitals would be like giving a patient an antiviral. They can take the medication, recover quickly, and go home, and it makes the virus much less deadly and significantly less scary to the population as a whole. Famed infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has also embraced antibodies, saying that they could act as a stopgap until we can have a widely distributed vaccine.[2] The drug manufacturer Eli Lilly said that one of the antibodies they have tested—in a phase 2 trial of nearly 500 people—reduced hospitalization by 72 percent.[3] Further, some antibodies tests are prioritizing treatment in patients most likely to have severe effects from the virus.[4] The success of these tests alludes to a steep drop in the death rate, if the drugs were to be administered widely. Unlike vaccines, some of which have yet to be tested on humans, a number of antibody treatments are being used in select hospitals in the U.S. to combat coronavirus right now.[5] The prospect that antibody treatments could be widely distributed by governments and drug manufacturers by January is incredibly high. If antibody treatments can be made widely available and continue to produce the results currently being posted, the pandemic—at least the deaths, fear, and steep social constraints—will be over.

Counter arguments

Similar to vaccines, antibodies still have to go through extensive trials in order to be approved and used on the wider population. It could be a long time before any antibody treatments are distributed widely, and the effect it has could vary from patient to patient. There is not enough data out right now to make the conclusive argument that antibodies will be a solution to all Covid-19 cases everywhere, as Abhijit Duggal, a critical care specialist at the Cleveland Clinic who has treated people with Covid-19, said.[6] Antibodies should not be looked at as an end to the pandemic but as a treatment akin to cancer treatment.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Wednesday, 7 Oct 2020 at 06:01 UTC

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