New COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment units deployed in Jacksonville, long-term site opens

DUVAL COUNTY, Fla. — UPDATE AUG. 16:

Governor Ron DeSantis announced Monday the mobile facility in Jacksonville will be moving to a long-term site at the Jacksonville Public Library. This move will allow for three times the capacity of the original mobile site.

To register for the treatment, click here.



ORIGINAL STORY:

Gov. Ron DeSantis came to Jacksonville Thursday to raise awareness for monoclonal antibody treatment, another tool used in the fight against COVID-19.

The treatment can be used for individuals who are already diagnosed with COVID-19 and have a high risk for severe illness.

RELATED: State leaders in Florida look for effective COVID-19 treatment

That includes senior citizens and those who are immunocompromised -- both vaccinated and unvaccinated.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the treatment’s use in mild to moderate COVID-19 patients ages 12 and older in November 2020.

STORY: State of Florida requests 300 ventilators, sends some to local hospitals for COVID-19 patient care

Action News Jax reported shortly after in December Baptist Health began offering monoclonal antibody treatments on a limited basis.

HOW DOES THE THERAPY WORK?

The FDA said the monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic an individual’s immune system’s ability to fight off the virus. The antibodies are directed against the spike protein of the coronavirus and are designed to block the virus’s attachment and entry into human cells.

If the treatment is applied early and properly, DeSantis said it has the ability to reduce the likelihood of hospitalizations and death by 70%. Health officials said the treatment can be distributed by IV and other faster methods.

WHERE CAN I RECEIVE TREATMENT?

During the news conference, the Florida governor announced the opening of a rapid response unit for the treatment at 300 East Bay Street in downtown Jacksonville.

COVID-19 patients who are recommended the treatment by their doctor can approach the trailer set up in the area to get the monoclonal antibody treatment via either IV or through four separate syringe injections.

While patients fill out paperwork, the treatment will settle to room temperature. Once it is regulated, patients will receive the treatment and will be monitored for one hour.

FORMER PRESIDENT RECEIVED THIS TREATMENT

The monoclonal antibody treatment called Regeneron was used on former President Donald Trump in October 2020 when he contracted the virus. It was still in the trial phase at the time.

DeSantis said it’s an effective treatment, especially for the unvaccinated.


Aurielle Eady, Action News Jax

Aurielle Eady is a digital content producer for Action News Jax.