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CDC HEALTH ADVISORY: Using Therapeutics to Prevent and Treat COVID-19

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Using Therapeutics to Prevent and Treat COVID-19

Distributed via the CDC Health Alert Network, Friday, December 31, 2021, 5:00 PM ET, CDCHAN-00461.

This was issued at the very close of business on the last day of 2021.

It is intended for “state and local health officers, state and local epidemiologists, state and local laboratory directors, public information officers, HAN (Health Alert Network) coordinators, and clinician organizations.” So, not necessarily for patients.

I think it’s a pretty clear-eyed and honest summary of where we are at as we are about to enter a new year.

Frankly, it echoes much of what we’ve been saying at CLL Society for weeks in this UPDATE, and the news about Remdisivir, what has been mentioned previously about the new Omicron variant, and supply issues surrounding the newly authorized COVID-19 pre-exposure preventive (PrEP) monoclonal antibody (mAb) Evusheld.

I am grateful to the CDC for this blunt assessment of our sorry state of affairs and their suggested advice on how to ration the limited resources. Now let’s fix the supply problem. If we could create vaccines in record time surely, we can get enough mAb and antivirals, and while we are at it, tests, both for home use and at testing sites, for everyone who needs them.

We are pushing for faster, wider, and more equitable distribution of live-saving medications. Releasing 50,000 doses of Sotrovimab and Evusheld every week is a dangerous joke. Rush it out now! There are lives on the balance.

Surely more than two years into this health crisis our leadership can anticipate the needs of the whole community it serves and the special needs of the immunocompromised, including those with chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma(CLL / SLL).

I grant it is easy to look foolish predicting the pandemic’s next plot twist. So I understand missteps made in the past few weeks that today seem so ill-advised based on present knowledge.

But we do know what we need now. More of the medications that work against all the SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, especially for the vulnerable. The CDC knows what we need, HHS (Health and Human Services) knows what we need, and the White House knows what we need. I know that because we and other advocates for the immunocompromised have told them.

Together we can do this!

Here is the link to the CDC: Using Therapeutics to Prevent and Treat COVID-19.

Stay strong. We are all in this together.

Brian Koffman MDCM (retired) MS Ed (he, him, his)

Co-Founder, Executive VP, and Chief Medical Officer
CLL Society, Inc.