Governor Ron DeSantis spoke about early treatment with monoclonal antibody against COVID during a press conference this afternoon at the Department of Health in Viera.
“You’ve got to have all the tools in the toolbox here, so we were able to talk about it, raise awareness and got great feedback from people who said, ‘I didn’t know that was there,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis’ press conference was about his support for the monoclonal treatment, but the few questions reporters were able to ask focused around the mask mandates controversy in the public schools.
The state has 21 sites, including one in Merritt Island, where people experiencing the early symptoms of the coronavirus can get the monoclonal antibody treatment. The treatment consists of four injections, two in the arms and two in the abdomen or an IV for an hour.
“We were able to do the 21 sites and over 40,000 patients as of now have received treatment and we’re typically doing over 4,000 a day, which is a pretty good clip.” DeSantis said.
He said that more than 3,500 people have received the treatment on Merritt Island.
“Prior to us setting up these sites in order to get a monoclonal antibody treatment you needed a referral from a physician,” the governor said.
A referral is no longer needed at the state sites. He encourages people to talk to their doctor. He said it is a treatment that has been highly effective in keeping people out of the hospitals.
Early treatment is key, the governor said.
Rob Dale of Viera said he received the monoclonal treatment after he contracted the coronavirus. His fiancée Michelle Webb also received the treatment as a preventive measure because she has asthma, he said.
“For all I know he and his staff may have saved my life and my fiancée’s life,” Dale said. “I am very thankful for the governor making this program available.”
DeSantis said almost 13 million people have been vaccinated in the state and it has helped to prevent people from being hospitalized but more had to be done.
People over 12 years old who have contracted COVID-19 or been exposed to someone with the virus and are at high risk for severe illness, are eligible to receive the monoclonal treatment. Regeneron is the treatment at the state sites. The treatment is free.
For more information about the treatment and where to get it, visit floridahealthcovid19.gov