PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — With COVID-19 cases on the rise across the state, Governor Ron DeSantis announced a monoclonal antibody treatment site will open on Saturday at the Bay County Fairgrounds.
“We’re trying to one, raise awareness of this which we’ve done a lot in the last couple of weeks, and then expand the availability,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.
The site will use Regeneron — a monoclonal antibody treatment approved for COVID-19 care or to be used as a prophylaxis for people who are exposed and considered high risk.
DeSantis said this treatment could help those whose bodies can’t fight off the virus as well as others.
“So this will essentially turbo-charge those antibodies — it’s an antibody cocktail and it fights back against the virus,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis said he feels Regeneron is one of the most underused treatments. He said prior to the sites, patients had to have referrals from doctors in order to get the infusion.
“What we’ve done on these sites is made it easier for people,” DeSantis said. “The Surgeon General did a standing order that says that as long as you meet criteria for EUA you’re able to come in here. You don’t need to get a prescription, you don’t even need to see a doctor prior to coming in and making an appointment.”
Officials hope Regeneron will have a positive impact on patients.
“If they come and they do this, you will absolutely see a decline in hospital admissions,” DeSantis said. “I think we’re already seeing that in certain areas where this has really had an uptick and I think that’ll be true statewide.”
The treatment center officially opens on Saturday, August 20 at the Bay County Fairgrounds. You must have proof of a positive COVID-19 test result with you in order to receive the treatment.
The site will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and they will be able to treat 300 people a day. For an appointment and to see if you qualify, click here.