The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) announced it will open additional monoclonal treatment sites after the federal government delivered its most recent shipment of treatment kits. Approximately 15,000 doses will become available in Duval, Seminole, Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade County sites.
“We’re working around the clock to keep up the momentum so Floridians have access to lifesaving monoclonal antibody therapies,” FDOH tweeted.
✨BIG NEWS: Tomorrow, five additional monoclonal antibody sites will open across the state✨
We're working around the clock to keep up the momentum so Floridians have access to lifesaving monoclonal antibody therapies.
— Florida Dept. of Health (@HealthyFla) January 17, 2022
The recent shipment comes after the state and the federal government has previously been at odds with access to the treatments. Back in September, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) administration blasted the federal government, particularly the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), for capping the amount of Regeneron treatments states would be able to receive. The HHS said at the time it would be seeking “equitable distribution.”
DeSantis’ administration and the state of Florida became one of the early adopters of the monoclonal treatments to fight against COVID.
After the federal government announced the cap on treatments being shipped to states, DeSantis announced his government would be circumventing the federal government and purchasing directly from a monoclonal manufacturer.
“We should be doing everything we can to get patients monoclonal antibody treatments, not cutting allocations of treatment like the Biden Administration has done,” said DeSantis 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.”
With the most recent announcement of more sites, DeSantis also said that his administration has seen the treatment have a positive effect on patients with the omicron variant of COVID.
“It’s something that we actually have seen applied with omicron patients, and we have seen symptoms resolve,” DeSantis said. “It may not be as good as it was against delta, but we obviously want to have that here for patients to be able to do it.”
DeSantis also announced that some of the recently expired COVID tests that were awaiting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval have, in fact, been approved and are on their way to COVID testing sites.
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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 “Naval Medical Center San Diego Administers Monoclonal Antibody (mAb) Treatment to a COVID-19-Positive Patient.” by Official U.S. Navy Page. CC BY 2.0.