covid-19 /

FDA Guidance and Some State Healthcare Systems Prioritze COVID Treatments By Race and Ethnicity

Updates guidance and framework in some states, supported by the newest FDA guidance, prioritize care outside of underlying medical conditions


New guidance issued by the FDA and the Biden administration states specific people may be considered a higher risk based on race or ethnicity and more easily qualify for monoclonal antibody and oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19.

An updated fact sheet for healthcare providers from the Food and Drug Administration approved emergency use authorizations of Sotrovimab only to patients considered “high risk.”

The update from December 2021, says “medical conditions or factors such as race or ethnicity place individual patients at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19.”

The FDA still considers older age, obesity, pregnancy, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease as medical conditions that place someone in a high-risk category. 

States such as New York and Utah have made it clear they will prioritize certain racial minorities over other highrisk patients regarding the distribution of particular COVID treatments.

New York’s Department of Health released a document detailing its plan to distribute monoclonal antibody treatment and antiviral pills late last week.

The new plan contains a section on eligibility for antiviral pills people must meet in order to receive the treatment. The eligibility statement includes a line stating a person needs to have “a medical condition or other factors that increase their risk for severe illness.”

One such factor listed is a race or ethnicity that is not White. The factor is a priority due to “longstanding systemic health and social inequities.”

“Non-white race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity should be considered a risk factor, as longstanding systemic health and social inequities have contributed to an increased risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19,” per the updated memo.

Utah’s recently issued guidelines for distributing monoclonal antibodies in the state say that residents who are “non-white race or Hispanic/Latinx ethnicity” will receive two additional points when calculating their “COVID-19 risk score.”

“Race/ethnicity continues to be a risk factor for severe COVID-19 disease, and the Utah COVID Risk Score is one approach to address equitable access to hard-hit communities,” the Utah guidance stated.

The national guidance from the FDA “specifically states that race and ethnicity may be considered when identifying patients most likely to benefit from this lifesaving treatment.”

The state of Minnesota’s updated framework advises clinicians and health systems to “consider the heightened risk of progression to severe COVID-19 associated with race and ethnicity when determining eligibility.” The framework applies specifically to the state’s distribution and administration of monoclonal antibody treatments.

The Minnesota framework states that “race and ethnicity alone, apart from other underlying health conditions, may be considered in determining eligibility for mAbs.”

“It is ethically appropriate to consider race and ethnicity in mAb eligibility decisions when data show elevated risk of poor COVID-19 outcomes for Black, Indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC populations), and that this risk cannot be adequately addressed by determining eligibility based on underlying health conditions (perhaps due to underdiagnosis of health conditions that elevate risk of poor COVID-19 outcomes in these populations),” according to the framework. 

More states are expected to adopt the same practice as guidance from the FDA is integrated into each state’s healthcare protocol. 

*For corrections please email [email protected]*

11 responses to “FDA Guidance and Some State Healthcare Systems Prioritze COVID Treatments By Race and Ethnicity”

  1. FreedomAddict says:

    This alone deters me from ever wanting government run health are. Not that I was in favor of it, but open to a basic option with private option. Now, forget it, these racists ruin everything.

  2. Poetentiate says:

    Apparently Asians and especially Men are more vulnerable to Covid-19. Maybe they should be put to the front of the line?

  3. Ohiro says:

    For over a Century following the end of slavery the United States government was dedicated to pursuing an end to racism and moving toward equal treatment of all under law. The Democrats have now reversed that policy and returned to blatant unequal treatment purely on the basis of race. The Democrats have always been the racist party in the United States, and still are.

  4. JoeSC says:

    The argument is that the Tuskeegee experiments lead black people to distrust the government involvement in medicine. OK, so their brilliant idea is then for the government to go over the top in encouraging black people to get the vaccines and making them more available to blacks than whites? I know that more government involvement always works to get people weary of government involvement on board…ugh…they are so stupid—and racist.

    In fact, these modern racists are worse than the racists they supplanted. The old school racists grew up in a society that allowed it, that even taught it. These new school racists grew up in a society absent all of that, they were taught better, and yet still they still CHOOSE to be racist on purpose. They’re just evil and seeking revenge.

  5. JoeSC says:

    Let’s fix past racism by instituting modern racism in our healthcare system. That makes total sense—to a fucking insane person.

  6. neilinda says:

    Why do I constantly see ads?
    When will website work correctly?

  7. prcntm_2nd_try says:

    @BLACKJACK70
    The only reason Racism is a “public health crisis” is because the COIVD-19 relief money has specific rules for local governments to follow when spending it. You can’t fund an equity program with the medical relief money… unless that inequity is suddenly a health problem itself. I watched both New York and Chicago do this specifically so they could spend money meant for COVID-19 relief on equity programs that had nothing to do with the pandemic.

  8. unspecialnoob says:

    It is well established that certain races have higher incidences of certain diseases. Those diseases may qualify the individual for higher priority in receiving treatment. This seems appropriate and the natural outcome of those statistics.

    However, the race of the individual should not be a factor in deciding how to distribute treatment. If a anyone is needing treatment, they should be promoted based on their actual medical need alone, not based on a hypothetical because they’re browner or whiter than someone else.

    If they have no history or current diagnosis a qualifying medical condition, they should be treated the same as anyone else. If they do have a condition, they should be treated the same as anyone else with said condition.

  9. nrol34 says:

    Good, that is the kind of shit the unoppressed voted for. Notice the LGBTQ community is omitted. OH NO, is there an intersectionality issue? What about Asians and Jews. Is this antisemitic?

  10. pandusa says:

    AGREE with Backjack70.
    Thank you NY government-Show the world who you REALLY ARE !
    You put mask on everybody and now, more and more… yours is OFF.

  11. Blackjack70 says:

    Well now I see why the CDC is saying racism is a public health crisis.