Germany purchases 200K doses of COVID-19 treatment given to Trump
German officials have reportedly bought 200,000 doses of the antibody treatment used to treat then-President Trump when he was hospitalized with the coronavirus in the fall.
Health Minister Jens Spahn said the $487 million purchase will make Germany the first European Union member to use the monoclonal antibody treatment, Bloomberg reported.
“The injection of these antibodies can help prevent patients at risk in the early phase from developing a serious condition,” Spahn told the German tabloid Bild, according to Bloomberg.
The announcement comes as Germany has lagged behind its goals for the rollout of vaccinations for the virus. Under 2 percent of Germans have been vaccinated thus far, the news outlet noted, citing data from the Robert Koch Institute.
The therapy was used to treat Trump last year after he was taken to Walter Reed Hospital near Washington, D.C. Upon recovery, Trump called the antibody treatment a “blessing from God” and called for it to be made available to all Americans free. No action was ultimately taken to distribute it free, however.
Last week, Eli Lilly said that its version of the treatment significantly reduced the risk of infection in a clinical trial among nursing home residents and staff.
“These data strengthen our conviction that monoclonal antibodies such as bamlanivimab can play a critical role in turning the tide of this pandemic,” Chief Scientific Officer Daniel Skovronsky said in a statement, adding that the company was “explor[ing] expanding the emergency use authorization” for the therapy with the Food and Drug Administration.
Germany, hailed as one of western Europe’s success stories in the first wave of the virus, has seen a recent resurgence, like much of the rest of the world. As of Monday, the country has 2.15 million cases of the virus and 52,297 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
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