JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida health officials want to provide COVID-19 patients with more options for relief, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Thursday.
Speaking in Jacksonville, the governor said the state is deploying a rapid response mobile unit that will deliver monoclonal antibody treatments for people infected with the coronavirus.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, "monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful antigens such as viruses."
"This is the most effective treatment that we've yet encountered for people who are actually infected with COVID-19," DeSantis said.
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DeSantis said the "overwhelming majority" of people admitted to Florida hospitals with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, and he's hoping the monoclonal antibody treatments will prevent patients from having to go to emergency rooms.
"If you become COVID positive, doing [monoclonal antibody treatment] before the symptoms get very severe is when it's most likely to work," DeSantis said. "If you do it early, this has a great chance to resolve those symptoms, short of you needing medical attention."
The governor said the mobile monoclonal antibody treatment distribution will start in Jacksonville and eventually expand to other parts of the state.
"This is gonna be something that has just gotta become part of the standard of care," DeSantis said. "This is gonna be with us for a long time."