Florida Gov. DeSantis Expands Monoclonal Antibody Treatments Amid COVID-19 Spike

 

Florida is rolling out a mobile unit to administer monoclonal antibody treatments to coronavirus patients, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced.

Officials are expanding the availability of the treatments, which have emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, as a record number of new coronavirus infections is straining Florida’s health care system.

“There’s clear benefits to this early treatment for keeping people out of the hospital and reducing mortality,” DeSantis said during a Thursday news conference.

Monoclonal antibodies — which hold the coronavirus in check by mimicking the body’s natural immune defenses — can be used to treat people with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are 12 years of age or older. But the treatment doesn’t work for those who’ve already developed more severe symptoms or are hospitalized.

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated people who are infected can receive the treatments, officials said.

Former President Donald Trump received Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody treatment when he contracted coronavirus last fall.

But some states have struggled to make the treatment widely available since it is administered by an intravenous infusion that can take up to an hour and requires medical staff that may already be overworked.

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