Lee Health praises antibody therapy, says it’s no substitute for vaccination
Gulf Coast Medical Center in Fort Myers.

The hospital system lost 12 COVID-19 patients on Tuesday alone.

Lee Health officials on Wednesday praised monoclonal antibody treatment as a “potentially life-saving early intervention” for COVID-19 patients. But hospital officials stressed that’s no reason to skip vaccinations.

“Prevention through vaccination is the best defense against COVID, and MAB treatment is not a substitute for getting vaccinated,” reads an email from Lee Health spokesman Jonathan Little.

The hospital system was the first in Florida to report a known patient death from COVID-19. More than 17 months later, 859 have died while in Lee Health care. That includes 12 who died Tuesday and six who died Monday.

The hospital system reports it currently has 646 COVID-19 patients in isolation, 116 of those in intensive care and 88 on ventilators.

Lee Health officials since MAB became available in December employed the treatment for more than 1,000 patients.

“It has been shown to help keep patients out of the hospital and shorten the length of their illness,” Little wrote.

Gov. Ron DeSantis last week announced a dedicated MAB treatment site in Lee County, at the Old Bonita Springs Library. DeSantis has made early treatment the central response in Florida to a surge in cases as a delta variant sparks a spread in coronavirus cases not seen over the course of the global pandemic.

But Lee Health officials stressed that MAB treatment remains an option for a limited set of COVID-19 patients. The hospital system utilizes it for those with mild-to-moderate symptoms and those deemed at high risk of severe symptoms or hospitalization.

Only patients with a physician referral can receive the treatment, and only if they have tested positive for COVID-19 and remain in the first seven days of showing symptoms. At least that’s the case at Lee Health; at state sites there’s no referral needed.

Patients also must meet certain risk factors as required by the Food and Drug Administration.

Vaccinations, however, prove the most effective at reducing the chance of infection or the odds of being hospitalized if patients do contract the virus.

On Monday, hospital officials noted just 104 of its 629 hospitalizations at the time were vaccinated patients, and just six of 94 patients in the ICU were vaccinated.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Peterh

    August 25, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    Since January of 2020 Republicans followed Donald Trump down the ‘the virus will magically disappear in the Spring’ rabbit hole!

    From the Covid onset, Republicans have fought social distancing, fought wearing a mask and fought getting vaccinated. Now our Florida hospital facilities are at 93% ICU capacity, experiencing 60% staff shortages and are exhausted treating the unvaccinated.

    Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis are laser focused on their latest GQP conspiracy theory……Joe Biden’s mental health……knowing full well the Biden is surrounded by HUNDREDS of highly qualified advisors.

    America is at a critical crossroad. The Republican Party is no longer part of America’s solutions …… the GOP is a roadblock to Americans participating in the American experience. They MUST BE voted out of office. Join us at the Lincoln Project or the other half dozen ‘never Trump’ organizations devoted to the total destruction of today’s Republican Party….. so that it can be rebuilt from the bottom up.

    • Jerry

      August 25, 2021 at 2:09 pm

      Lincoln Project? Isn’t that the organization that scammed people out of donation money and one of its founders was sexually harassing young men?

      And sorry, we aren’t ever going back to the Bushes or the McCains fake conservatives and neocons. Your kind is part of the reason this country is going down the toilet.

      • PeterH

        August 25, 2021 at 2:20 pm

        Intelligent thinking conservative’s goal is to destroy what remains of Republican Bobby Jindal’s ‘PARTY OF STUPID’ so that the Party of Lincoln can be reinvented to assist Americans to take full advantage of the American Experience.

        We will succeed….. and you and your ilk of failed coup Trumpsters will be left by the wayside. Get an education to succeed in the 21st century economy ….. if you want to stick around. America is changing with or without you.

  • Sonja Fitch

    August 25, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    Prevention! Prevention! Prevention! Duffus Desantis is willingly slaughtering Floridians and our Children!!!! Duffus Desantis you are a damn murderer! You are killing people you have sworn to serve and protect! Lock up this damn idiot Desantis !

  • Suzan

    August 25, 2021 at 2:35 pm

    USA citizens can now get this job and earns more dollars by go to this web. last month i have made and received $17915 from this job by doing easy work in part time…. http://Pays11.com

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704