By Jessica Mathews /

Local health officials are shedding some light on emerging COVID-19 treatments for those in certain high-risk categories.

Many people have begun hearing about the availability of COVID-19 treatments such as monoclonal antibody therapy or oral therapeutics but are also questioning why supplies are so limited.

Dr. Juan Marquez serves as the medical director for both the Livingston and Washtenaw County Health Departments. During a recent virtual event, Marquez stated that supplies aren’t just limited locally but really across the nation.

Marquez said the FDA has authorized three monoclonal treatments, all of which were effective against the Delta variant. Now with the rise of Omicron, he said only one of the three is effective and it’s the newest one. Marquez said there have been severe shortages across the U.S. but as manufacturing picks up, there should be more available. However, he cautioned that it will take some time to ramp up.

Marquez said similarly with the oral therapeutics, there are a couple available but there are very limited supplies right now so it will also take some time for those to ramp up.

If someone is in a high-risk category and tests positive for COVID, Marquez encouraged them to talk with their primary care doctor about options.

Those considered high risk include people over the age of 75 who are not fully vaccinated, those between the ages of 65 to 74 with one or more with conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease or kidney problems; or if someone is over the age of 18 and has a moderate to severe immune-compromised condition.

Marquez said all of those would qualify someone for some sort of treatment and while it might be a bit limited, those are what the treatments are prioritized for at this time.