June 2021 Volume 43 Issue 6 p917-1134
SARS-CoV-2 Monoclonal Antibodies in Children: Ethical Considerations
Ian D. Wolfe, Sameer J. Patel
Published online: May 06, 2021
The use of monoclonal antibodies in children with certain conditions and at high risk for severe COVID-19 has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration under the Emergency Use Authorization mechanism of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. No data on the tolerability or efficacy of these therapies in persons <18 years of age are available; there is risk. Whether they will work is unknown, but they could. A disproportionate number of these children who meet the criteria for treatment with mAbs are from communities of black, Native American, and other race. How should health systems, hospitals, and clinicians balance the tensions between being seen as experimenting with an untested drug as opposed to withholding a potentially life-saving treatment? This article identifies, analyzes, and makes recommendations on the methods by which health systems, hospitals, and individual clinicians can ethically balance these tensions.