By Jannis Falkenstern
At the request of Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Florida Department of Health has opened five additional sites to make sure that COVID-19 patients get the monoclonal antibody treatment they need.
The new sites will be located in Broward, Duval, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Seminole counties.
“To facilitate the distribution of lifesaving therapeutics the state will open new monoclonal antibody therapy treatment sites starting Jan. 18,” Jeremy Redfern, press secretary for the health department announced on that date.
“The state of Florida has successfully deployed and expanded state-run, lifesaving monoclonal antibody therapy treatment sites statewide throughout the pandemic.”
DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw said the governor has been “calling on the Biden administration for months to use all levers available to the federal government to increase production and delivery of monoclonal antibodies.”
“The people of Florida, and the rest of the country, need to have access to these lifesaving therapeutics,” Pushaw said.
“Instead the Biden administration wasted valuable time pushing ineffective school mask mandates, threatening Americans’ jobs with the unconstitutional OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) vaccine mandate, and doubling down on the failed strategy of relying on COVID-19 shots alone.”
Pushaw said COVID-19 cases are “breaking records” this winter.
“It is obvious that the Biden administration’s obsession with masks and vaccines has failed to achieve Biden’s campaign promise to ‘shut down the virus,’” she continued.
“As the president himself admitted recently, there is no federal solution to COVID-19. Experts agree that the virus is here to stay.”
She said the “federal government should revoke all mandates and instead focus on developing and providing effective treatments to Americans.”
Last week the U.S. Supreme Court blocked enforcement of the OSHA rule except for healthcare workers.
The Florida health department said monoclonal antibodies should be administered as soon as possible after diagnosis.
“Monoclonal antibody treatments can prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death in high-risk patients who have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19,” Redfern said. “The antibodies help the immune system recognize and respond effectively to the virus.”
The treatment guidelines on the DOH website say, “treatment is free and vaccination status does not matter. If you are 12 years and older and are at high risk for severe illness due to COVID-19, you are eligible for this treatment.”
Redfern said the health department will continue to update the public as therapies are delivered from the federal government and are available at the sites. Those eligible should contact their doctors if interested in the pre-exposure therapy.