Opinion | Antibody Treatments: Paying for Anti-Vaxxers’ Irresponsibility

More from our inbox:

To the Editor:

Re “Shunning Shot, but Lining Up for Antibodies” (front page, Sept. 19):

I’d like to say that those are my treatments and I want them back. I am a 24-year-old medical student who has suffered from crippling juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since I was 15. After several years of struggling, I was finally started on a monoclonal antibody infusion regimen that has allowed me to live a completely pain-free, normal life for the past five years.

However, almost two months ago I was informed by my infusion center that all reserves of my medication must go to Covid patients in the hospital (the vast majority of whom are unvaccinated), so I have been forced to return to living in chronic pain on less effective medications.

As a medical student I am taught that in times of crisis resources must go to the sickest patients, but still, the thought keeps running through my head: They chose not to get vaccinated; I didn’t have a choice not to get arthritis, but now we must both suffer.

Ellie Cook
Yakima, Wash.

To the Editor:

This story reveals that many people who have not received a Covid-19 vaccination are lining up to receive monoclonal antibodies after contracting the virus and experiencing symptoms. The federal government covers the cost of the treatment and is in charge of distribution of the drug to the states. The antibody treatment is 100 times more costly than the vaccine.

Seven Southern states account for 70 percent of the orders of this drug that is dwindling in supply. The vaccine not only protects the individual receiving it, but also protects others in the community, while antibody treatment protects only the individual receiving it.

The Biden administration should stop catering to those who act irresponsibly and who put all Americans at risk. The federal government should not provide the monoclonal antibodies to states unless they demonstrate that they are encouraging people to get vaccinated. Moreover, the antibody treatment should be made available only to those who have received the vaccine, but who nonetheless have become sick because of other people’s refusal to get vaccinated.

Steven Flaumenhaft
West Sayville, N.Y.

To the Editor:

Monoclonal antibodies are a very costly treatment for Covid that I feel people who consciously choose not to be vaccinated do not deserve. The cost for treatment is being picked up by the federal government, but in the end American taxpayers are reaching into our wallets to support people who were too stubborn and or foolish to stick out their arm for the Covid vaccine.

Should I, a senior on a fixed income, have to pay for these folks while I have been fully vaccinated, wear my mask whenever I am out of my apartment and practice social distancing?

As a nurse practitioner, I am appalled and angry at the backward thinking and gall of the unvaccinated who now want me and millions of others to pay for their medical treatment.

Gail Dolson
Corte Madera, Calif.

To the Editor:

Patients who receive monoclonal antibodies cannot receive the vaccine for 90 days. This is because the residual monoclonal antibodies may blunt the immune response to the vaccine. This long waiting period will probably make it even less likely that these patients, who are already vaccine hesitant, will ever be vaccinated.

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