NEWS

Health Minister: No room for interventions in monoclonal antibody treatments

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The decision on whether to administer monoclonal antibodies to a Covid-19 patient is taken by an expert panel of infectious disease experts and no outsider can intervene, Health Minister Thanos Plevros said Friday.

He was responding to SYRIZA lawmaker Pavlos Polakis who accused health authorities of implementing a “disgraceful” protocol that excludes eligible patients, including a 76-year-old acquaintance of the former deputy health minister who is hospitalized with Covid in Rhodes. In a long rant on his Facebook page, he warned Plevris that if the patient friend does not receive a monocle treatment by Christmas Day, “all hell will break loose.”

Plevris responded that the competent panel has already approved the request for the specific patient. “There is no room for interventions, bullying or friendly relations in the administration of monoclonal antibody treatments,” he said. “These would be the criteria if Polakis was still a minister.”

Monoclonal antibodies are proteins made in a lab that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight the coronavirus and are administered to high-risk Covid-19 patients who belong in vulnerable groups.

The intravenous treatment must be administered in hospitals under medical supervision and its aim is to prevent the disease from becoming more acute.