TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — As Florida hospitals struggle to handle the surge of COVID-19 patients, a new treatment is offering some hope.
The state has opened several monoclonal antibody treatment sites across Florida.
A new treatment site opened at Kings Forest Park at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 8008 East Chelsea Street in Tampa. Another site opened at the Fasano Center, 11611 Denton Avenue in Hudson. Both locations are open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm seven days a week.
Another site is coming to Tropicana Field at a later date. Details about the site have not been announced.
There are currently 17 sites opening statewide that can accept about 300 patients per day. Those eligible for the shot include people 12 years of age and older who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and are at high risk for severe illness and hospitalization.
The treatment has been available to patients at hospitals for some time, but now they can get it for free at state-run sites, regardless of whether or not they’ve been vaccinated.
If taken early, doctors say the cocktail can boost the body’s antibody response and reduce one’s chance of being hospitalized by 70%.
“There’s a lot of people who’ve been admitted over the last month, who I think probably wouldn’t have been admitted had they gotten the early treatment,” said Governor Ron DeSantis, who announced the sites on Thursday.
Dr. Peggy Duggan, the Chief Medical Officer at Tampa General Hospital believes the treatment can be life-saving.
“It’s a resounding yes! Regeneron has made a huge impact for our patients and made a huge difference in the length of stay keeping people healthy and out of the hospital. It’s critical, yes,” said Dr. Duggan.
To find locations to receive monoclonal antibody treatments, you can visit floridahealthcovid19.gov. To make an appointment at a state site, visit this patient portal. To find other monoclonal antibody sites, visit the National Infusion Center Association’s website.