JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Governor DeSantis announced today a COVID-19 treatment is now being sponsored by the state.
The treatment is free and currently reserved for those who have already tested positive and are at risk for complications.
The mobile unit has eight stations that take about an hour-and-a-half each Thursday. On Friday, each station is expected to take about 30 minutes.
The monoclonal antibody treatment pulls antibodies from someone who has recovered from COVID-19 and uses them in someone in the early stages of the disease. The treatment is said to improve patients in 24-48 hours. Gov. Ron DeSantis agrees.
“If you talk to people who have had it here in Florida, most people will say that it really does reduce the symptoms.”
The treatment is being released as hospitals see a dramatic increase in hospitalizations of unvaccinated patients.
“Doing it before the symptoms get severe is when it’s most likely to work,” he says.
The governor and Mayor Lenny Curry are hoping to expand access to the treatment to the general public in the next few weeks.
“This antibody treatment, as the governor said, is not well known by the community. It’s effective. I was on a call yesterday with all of the hospital CEOs in town and we had this discussion. People need to know this exists,” Curry added.
The state is trying to collaborate with the library downtown to create a treatment center. They say once that opens, anyone with a positive test can receive the treatment.
In addition, the library’s opening will more than triple the number of patients who can be served. The treatment is effective for everyone with COVID- although it may be better-suited for those who didn’t get vaccinated and will likely see worse symptoms.
“Obviously, if you’re vaccinated, we think the data in the hospital shows that your chance of being admitted and having a severe illness is less than if you weren’t, but at the same time we are seeing people testing positive in higher numbers than I think most people anticipated.”
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