2021-06-05/06 General

Vaccinations

I love this chart:

Yes, Canada has passed 60% of its population with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Treatments

Regeneron has gotten FDA approval for a lower-dose, injected (as opposed to transfused) version of its monoclonal antibody COVID-19 treatment, called REGEN-COV.

This might be a big deal.

The stuff works, but it had been a pain in the ass to deliver because it involved the patient sitting around for an hour or two with an IV drip in their arm. Hospitals had infusion sites already, but they are mostly used for cancer patients getting chemotherapy — which usually wrecks the immune system. Not a good idea to have people infected with a deadly disease to sit for an hour or two next to immunocompromised people, eh?

I had a little bit of trouble finding the price of the infusion version, but sources seem to say it was around CAD$10K. The new injected treatment uses half the dose, so one might hope that it would cost half as much. Now, CAD$5K sounds like a lot of money, but this article says that the average COVID-19 hospital stay costs about CAD$23K, with ICU patients costing about CAD$50K. Thus, if a one injection can keep someone in the hospital from progressing to the ICU, that would save CAD$22K per person.

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