NEW YORK -- The use of some monoclonal antibody treatments against COVID is now being discouraged, and updated guidelines from the NIH COVID Treatment Panel say Regeneron and Eli Lilly's treatments have been shown to fail against omicron.
Officials said Sotrovimab is the only monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID that has so far been shown to hold up against omicron.
The omicron variant is currently responsible for 99% of COVID cases in the U.S.
The fast-moving omicron variant may cause less severe disease on average, but COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are climbing and modelers forecast 50,000 to 300,000 more Americans could die by the time the wave subsides in mid-March.
The seven-day rolling average for daily new COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. has been trending upward since mid-November, reaching nearly 1,700 on Jan. 17 - still below the peak of 3,300 in January 2021. COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents started rising slightly two weeks ago, although still at a rate 10 times less than last year before most residents were vaccinated.
Despite signs omicron causes milder disease on average, the unprecedented level of infection spreading through the country, with cases still soaring in many states, means many vulnerable people will become severely sick. If the higher end of projections comes to pass, that would push total U.S. deaths from COVID-19 over 1 million by early spring.