15 Monoclonal Antibody Sites to Be Operational in Florida by Weekend

15 Monoclonal Antibody Sites to Be Operational in Florida by Weekend
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in Miami, Fla., on July 13, 2021. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

PUNTA GORDA, Fla.—Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is racing through the state to facilitate the opening of monoclonal antibody sites. It is estimated that a total of 15 centers will be open in Florida by Saturday with more scheduled to open next week.

Florida State Senator Wilton Simpson was with the governor and his staff at a press conference on Thursday afternoon in Pasco County where another site had just been set up and awaiting patients. Simpson said he had contracted COVID-19 in December and knew that the monoclonal antibodies treatment was available. However, at the time he received the treatment, it was by doctor’s referral only.

“I can tell you that the treatment works,” Simpson said. “I was feeling better within 48 hours of the treatment.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis told reporters on Thursday that there is currently a standing order in Florida signed by the State Surgeon General, Dr. Scott A. Rivkees that allows patients to receive the treatment without a prescription or referral if administered by an eligible health care provider.

DeSantis said there was some confusion about the cost of the treatment and misinformation had been relayed and he hoped by attending the openings of the facilities he could dispel the erroneous information being put forth.

“Referrals are not required at any of the State of Florida monoclonal antibody treatment sites,” DeSantis said. “These treatments are available at no cost to patients. Don’t believe anyone that says they are going to cost thousands of dollars.”

DeSantis explained that after then President Trump received the monoclonal antibodies treatment the federal government at his direction “bought the lot” of antibodies treatment as to make it available to everyone who wanted it.

Florida Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said that the treatment that is being made available around the state is designed to “take the pressure off of hospitals.”

“These treatments are readily available,” Guthrie said at the press conference. “At Governor DeSantis’s direction, in less than a week we have opened up seven state locations, with many more to come.”

A question was posed to the governor concerning the Biden administration funding the financial losses of the two school districts that are not in compliance with state laws regarding Parents Bill of Rights and mandating masks for school children.

“We have military equipment that is being gifted to militants in Afghanistan,” said a visibly exasperated governor. “The Biden administration is focused on making kindergartners wear masks when there are so many problems facing this nation—instead they are playing footsie with the [teacher] unions. They have an obsession that a little 5-year-old should go to school masked all day.”

Monoclonal antibodies treatment (MAB) can prevent hospitalization or death in high-risk patients with COVID-19 and are widely available in Florida according to the Florida Department of Health website. Anyone who is 12 years and older, and are at high risk for severe illness due to COVID-19, are eligible for this treatment. Treatment is free and vaccination status does not matter.

To find locations to receive monoclonal antibody treatments around the entire state, visit floridahealthcovid19.gov.