Florida to receive 30,000 monoclonal antibody treatment doses, DeSantis says


FILE – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to supporters and members of the media after a bill signing on Nov. 18, 2021, in Brandon, Fla. In Florida, for the first time in modern history, there are more registered Republican voters than Democrats. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is heading into a reelection campaign buoyed by a national profile and a cash reserve unmatched by any of his Democratic challengers. And Republicans control virtually all of state government. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)

TAMPA (WFLA) -As the Omicron variant surges across the state and the number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise, Governor Ron DeSantis says the state of Florida will be receiving at least 30,000 more doses from the federal government.

The news comes one day after DeSantis called on the federal government to let states to directly purchase monoclonal antibody treatments at a news conference.

DeSantis said while it may not be as effective against omicron compared to its use against the delta variant, Florida still wanted to have the treatment available for those in need.

“Last week, I think many of you know we were concerned about what was happening with taking back of the supply, even more so than what has been, of the monoclonal antibodies. The federal government had stopped sending both Regeneron and the Eli Lilly monoclonal. It was based off of some preliminary study saying it would not be as effective against Omicron,” DeSantis said. “But of course Omicron’s not the only variant that’s out there. It’s something that we have seen applied with omicron patients and we have seen resolved.”

According to a press release from the governor’s office, the state of Florida stands ready to open more treatment locations within 48 hours “as long as the federal government continues to provide this level of doses to the state or allows the state to procure its own supplies from manufacturers and distributors.”

Additionally, DeSantis said the legislature had already set funding aside for $1 billion in supply purchases for monoclonal antibodies, though the “federal government’s exclusive arrangement” may stop the state from buying it.

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