Gov. Ron DeSantis continued his Regeneron roadshow Wednesday, this time touting the effectiveness of monoclonal antibody treatment in Palm Coast.
Monoclonal antibodies, like those manufactured by Regeneron, are lab-created antibodies proven to mitigate COVID-19 symptoms and complications.
Speaking at Daytona State College, DeSantis described the drug as a “really significant” tool in the COVID-19 therapeutic arsenal.
“If treated early, the success rate is very, very high,” the Republican Governor lauded.
Wednesday’s trip marked the latest in a months-long series of promotional grand opening events the Governor has held across the state.
At many events, including Wednesday in Palm Coast, recipients often highlight their experience and recovery after a dose of the antibodies.
“COVID is a treatable illness,” DeSantis emphasized. “You didn’t hear as much about these treatments for a long time, as you should’ve.”
The Regeneron version of the treatment, which is free, involves four shots — one in each arm and two in the stomach.
Amy Young, a mother and realtor in Palm Coast, tested positive for COVID-19 in August.
She experienced an array of symptoms including a high fever and trouble breathing. But hours after the treatment, Young said she began feeling better.
She encouraged those who contract the virus to seek the treatment, regardless of political affiliation or vaccination status.
“The ones in your stomach actually don’t hurt as badly,” Young said.
Florida Department of Emergency Management Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kenneth Scheppke echoed the Governor’s message, reiterating that COVID-19 is indeed a treatable illness.
The key, however, is early treatment.
“Don’t wait for those really bad symptoms to show up, because then it may be too late for the treatment to work for you,” Scheppke said.
In all, roughly 25 treatment sites are open statewide.
DeSantis expects the state to have administered roughly 70,000 monoclonal antibody treatments by the end of Wednesday.
“The goal is… to make it that the vast vast majority of people have relatively easy access,” DeSantis said.
More details and the locations of treatment sites, including in Daytona Beach and Highland County, are available online.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the injectable antibody cocktail in August as an early COVID-19 treatment for people at high risk for severe infections.
In the Department of Health’s most recent weekly COVID-19 report, issued last Friday, Florida recorded 129,202 new cases and 2,345 new deaths.
Overall, more than 46,900 people have died of COVID-19 in Florida, which ranks 17th in per-capita deaths among the states.
The majority of the deaths this summer — like last summer — are among the elderly, according to the Florida Department of Health.