New state-supported monoclonal antibody treatment center up and running in downtown Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A new state-supported monoclonal antibody treatment center is up and running in downtown Jacksonville to help those fighting the virus stay out of the hospital.

A handful of people were able to get the antibody treatment called Regeneron at the site next to the Berkman tower on Thursday.

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If it sounds familiar, its what doctors gave President Trump after he tested positive for COVID-19 last year.

Last year Cooper Moore found himself in a situation many of us have experienced throughout this pandemic — he learned he had been exposed to someone who had COVID-19.

“I was living with a girlfriend who was a nurse and working the COVID unit at the place that she worked and she ended up contracting COVID.”

This made him the perfect candidate for a local trial for monoclonal antibody treatment Regeneron.

The goal of the trial was to see if it could prevent someone who was exposed to COVID from catching and developing COVID-19 symptoms.

Jennifer Hardy is a clinical research pharmacist at the East Coast Institute for Research in Jacksonville.

She explains, “It will help prevent you from having a severe disease that we’re seeing and potentially prevent you from going to the hospital and being hospitalized for COVID.”

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Moore ended up never testing positive for the virus.

He also doesn’t yet know if he got the treatment or the placebo.

Moore explains, “I won’t know until a couple months from now, however, assuming that I did get it and I know side effects, I would encourage people that it is just antibodies it’s nothing big or scary.”

It helps your body fight off the virus by giving you the antibodies or soldiers your body’s needs to overcome it and the sooner you take it the better.

But researchers aren’t sure how long that protection will last which is why its still important to get the vaccine.

Hardy explains, “Regeneron is an immediate antibody. Does it have the durability long-term? That’s unclear, but what it’s showing is that it’s really effective if it’s used immediately and within that 8 to 10 day period.”