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Fort Worth hospitals receive antibody therapy drug for COVID-19 patients

There have been 5,780 vials of the drug sent to Texas, the second-highest of any state during the first week of shipment.

Note: The video above is a story about Gov. Greg Abbott's latest COVID-19 update.

Texas received more than 5,700 vials of a new therapy medical treatment for COVID-19 and some are already being administered to patients in North Texas.

John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth has received 45 doses of the treatment, called bamlanivimab, officials said. Details of how the limited supply will be used are still being worked out.

Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center - Fort Worth also received a limited supply of the new treatment, which was created by Eli Lilly and Company and given emergency authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

There have been 5,780 vials of the drug sent to Texas, the second-highest of any state during the first week of shipment. Illinois received 6,380 vials. Third was Wisconsin with 4,260.

Next week, Texas is expected to receive 3,100 vials, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

State officials said the drug will be distributed based on the number of new cases of COVID-19 in an area, new hospital admissions of patients with the coronavirus and total hospitalized patients confirmed to have COVID-19.

RELATED: Gov. Abbott says COVID-19 antibody therapy drug to become available for eligible Texans

The experimental antibody treatment is best used for people in the early stages of COVID-19 with hopes that it will reduce hospitalizations in the state.

Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center - Fort Worth participated in a clinical trial for the treatment to test its effectiveness.

Michael Sanborn, president of Baylor Scott & White-Fort Worth, urged communities to increase preventive efforts like wearing a mask, social distancing and hand hygiene. He said the product is in limited in supply.

The treatment is authorized for patients over 12 years old who are at risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19.

Health officials have said the treatment has been effective in preventing hospitalizations for patients who take it before becoming severely ill with the disease.

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.

The treatment is administered through an IV, which takes about an hour.