Palm Coast, FL - Beginning Thursday (September 9) morning, Daytona State College's Palm Coast campus will be host to a new monoclonal antibody treatment site.
Governor Ron DeSantis made the announcement today from the college's campus, saying that the site will begin operating on Thursday. According to DeSantis, the site will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 7 days a week.
Palm Coast has been just one of DeSantis' many stops around the state where the governor announced the openings of similar treatment centers for patients. So far, over 20 sites have opened in the state, including one in Ormond Beach.
In talking about the treatment sites, DeSantis began to discuss their effectiveness, going as far as to say that COVID-19 hospitalizations have gone down because of the sites.
"Since we started these sites, we've seen daily admissions to hospitals for COVID decline dramatically," said DeSantis.
Additionally, DeSantis allowed those who have gone through the monoclonal treatment to share their experience. One such individual was a local Flagler County realtor, mother, and cancer survivor who received the treatment after contracting COVID-19. The woman said she came close to calling 911 the day before her treatment because she was struggling to breathe.
"And then by the third day (after the treatment), I felt like a million bucks," said the woman.
According to the Florida Department of Health, monoclonal antibody treatments can prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death in high-risk patients who have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19.
The antibodies in the treatment help the immune system recognize and respond to the virus.
Currently, guidelines state that treatment should be administered as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19. There is also a standing order in place from the surgeon general that allows patients to receive the treatment without a prescription or referral if administered by an eligible health care provider.
At this time, treatment is free and vaccination status does not apply. Residents 12 years and older and are at high risk for severe illness due to COVID-19 are eligible for this treatment.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Regeneron monoclonal antibody treatment is not a substitute for vaccination against COVID-19. The FDA states the treatments may only be used as post-exposure prophylaxis and urges those who can to get a COVID-19 vaccination.
The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to wear a face mask, wash your hands, and get a COVID-19 vaccine. If you're looking to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, be sure to visit the state health department's vaccine locator to find an opportunity closest to you.
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