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WATCH: Fauci urges hospitals use more antibody treatments for patients infected with COVID

WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci is urging hospitals and doctors to make greater use of antibody treatments for people infected with COVID-19 as hospitalizations and deaths rise due to the spread of the delta variant.

Watch the briefing in the player above.

Infusions of antibody drugs can keep patients who are experiencing mild-to-moderate symptoms from getting so sick they need hospitalization, the government’s top infectious disease specialist said at Tuesday’s White House coronavirus briefing. They also can serve as a preventive treatment for people exposed to someone with a documented infection.

Three antibody products are available under emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, and they’re free thanks to taxpayer support. But Fauci says they remain “a much-underutilized intervention.”

However, demand for the drugs increased five-fold last month to nearly 110,000 doses, with the majority going to states with low vaccination rates. Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has been among the patients treated with antibodies.