Point of View: Early treatment saves lives

Early COVID-19 treatment saves lives

Life is precious. My heart goes out to so many of you who have lost family and friends to COVID-19. I want to do everything in my power to help you navigate through this difficult season, including giving you hope for the future.

Many of you have been asking what we can do to beat this pandemic. One thing we know to be true about COVID-19 is that early treatment saves lives. Let me say that again: early treatment saves lives!

I have been speaking with Gov. Mike Dunleavy, Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum, and other health experts about the efficacy of early treatment for Alaskans. These conversations help guide me in making sound policy decisions to better defend your medical rights because your healthcare decisions should remain between you and your healthcare provider and not you and your politician.

It has been more than 20 months since the pandemic reached our borders. We have sought to understand this virus and how to treat it, yet we seem to be losing the battle here in Alaska, recently holding the worst case-count per capita in the nation. It is time we look to countries like India, who have successfully eradicated COVID-19 from regions of their population with the use of therapy packs. Each home kit in India contained the following: Paracetamol tablets [tylenol], Vitamin C, Multivitamin, Zinc, Vitamin D3, Ivermectin 12 mg [quantity #10 tablets], Doxycycline 100 mg [quantity #10 tablets]. Other non-medication components included face masks, sanitizer, gloves and alcohol wipes, a digital thermometer, and a pulse oximeter. Many other countries have also seen success in reducing widespread hospitalization and death by distributing therapy packs through their health department for early treatment of the virus for less than $3 per pack. Early treatment has been a strong recommendation of many health professionals in the fight against COVID-19.

I have heard the arguments that certain therapies such as ivermectin, azithromycin “Z-Paks” and hydroxychloroquine are not FDA approved for treating COVID-19, but would argue that as a sovereign state, we cannot afford to wait for the permission of a federal agency to save lives. It is our responsibility to make wise decisions for ourselves now, and for the sake of our own because no one cares about Alaskan lives … like Alaskans. Our focus should be on treating those who are sick as early as possible, but instead, it seems we have remained solely reliant upon vaccination as the only viable means of defense. If we prioritize treating those who are sick by exercising early intervention, at the same level we are prioritizing encouragement of the healthy to get vaccinated, I believe we could see an immediate decrease in hospitalizations and death.

Just to be clear: I will defend your right to have access to the vaccines as much as I will defend your choice for early and alternative treatments. Alaskans have a right to informed consent and a right to try experimental drugs when terminally ill.

Let’s set the politics aside and focus on saving lives.

Some of you may claim I am spreading false information. That’s OK. My challenge to you is to research the success of these countries and alternative treatment options and then decide for yourself. I am simply interested in saving Alaskan lives.

Life is precious; do your research of available options and talk to your doctor. Please feel free to reach out to me at rep.sarah.vance@akleg.gov or 907-235-2921

Rep. Sarah Vance represents House District 31 on the southern Kenai Peninsula.

Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer. (Photo provided)