Florida Gov. DeSantis Announces New Preventative Monoclonal Treatment for Immunocompromised


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Friday a new preventative monoclonal treatment will be available for immunocompromised Floridians like cancer patients and transplant recipients. DeSantis said the new product from AstraZeneca, a pre-exposure prophylactic called Evusheld, is the newest development in Florida’s fight against COVID.

“This monoclonal is a new tool for some of our most vulnerable Floridians and we are happy to make this available throughout the state,” said DeSantis in a press release. “Florida has been a leader in advocating for early treatment of COVID-19 and the availability of this new monoclonal is a continuation of the state’s efforts. Florida will continue to use a comprehensive approach to respond to COVID-19 and promote healthy living through Healthier You.”

There will be approximately 3,100 early doses distributed to hospitals across the state who have already been providing the monoclonal treatments.

“This is a long-lasting, long-acting monoclonal therapy,” DeSantis said. “In the clinal trials, it reduced the risk of developing COVID in the first instance by 77 percent.”

According to a flyer released by the state, Evusheld is “only for those who are not currently infected or have not been recently exposed to COVID.” The flyer also notes it can provide protection for the immunocompromised for at least six months.

DeSantis was joined by Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo who praised the new monoclonal development and stressed the importance of treatment as the omicron variant spread in the United States. Ladapo also highlighted the lessened symptoms of omicron and no increased risk of serious illness or death.

“With this omicron, it’s very clear that it’s highly transmissible,” Ladapo said. “The data do not indicate any increased risk. If anything, the data seem to support a lower risk of serious illness. We’ll know more with time, and hopefully that holds.”

DeSantis was one of the first governors in the country to implement statewide monoclonal treatment sites which reduced Florida’s COVID hospitalization rate. When President Joe Biden announced the federal government would be capping the amount of monoclonal treatments states would be able to receive, DeSantis went around the federal government and secured more treatments directly from the producer, GlaxoSmithKline.

“We should be doing everything we can to get patients monoclonal antibody treatments, not cutting allocations of treatment like the Biden Administration has done,” DeSantis said at the time, in September. “Despite the cuts by the federal government, we want any Floridians that could benefit from this treatment to have access to it. Florida is going to leave no stone unturned when finding treatment for our state, and we are encouraged to have secured a shipment of monoclonal antibody treatments from GlaxoSmithKline.”

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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and the Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “Gov. Ron DeSantis” by Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Monoclonal Antibody Site” by Florida Department of Health.




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