DeSantis plans to expand antibody treatment sites in Florida — once the feds send more

Gov. Ron DeSantis during a news conference in South Florida. (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state will soon open more monoclonal antibody treatment sites as a surge of new coronavirus cases continues to hit Florida.

DeSantis was at a hospital in Ft. Lauderdale Monday morning and said there will be three new antibody sites added in South Florida and one new site in Central Florida once the state gets more supply from the federal government.

“And we have the ability to add five to 10 more sites as the demand may be, but that is all contingent on the federal government sending the doses that we need. And so we’re looking at probably between 30 and 40,000 additional doses,” DeSantis said.

United States Department of Health and Human Services had paused the shipments of the two main antibody treatments made by Regeneron and Eli Lilly after some evidence suggested the treatments are ineffective against the omicron variant. DeSantis said HHS reversed that decision on Sunday, but it’s not clear when the state will get more supply.

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DeSantis criticized the federal government for pausing the antibody shipments and claimed there is some evidence it has an effect on omicron as well as the delta variant -- the two dominant strains.

A Jacksonville COVID-19 antibody treatment site had to reduce the number of appointments after changing how it administers antibody treatments, a city spokesperson told News4JAX last week.

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