This type of treatment generated much controversy due to the broad support that former President Donald Trump gave them without being approved yet. State private clinics charge up to USD 5,000 for this type of therapy.
More than a dozen state-operated clinics are offering free monoclonal antibody treatments throughout Florida. They are given to people with a positive diagnosis of COVID 19 who fall into the risk categories of developing severe illness or even dying before they become seriously ill.
The clinics work on a shift basis, delivering a cocktail of antibodies made by the biotech company Regeneron. This is the therapy known as REGEN-COV, which was already being privately administered to Florida hospitals for $ 5,000. It is a combination of the drugs casirivimab and imdevimab. Like the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, this treatment has an emergency clearance (Federal Food and Drug Administration).
Treatment consists of artificially developed substitute antibodies put into the body through four injections or an intravenous infusion. Personalities like former President Donald Trump himself received this type of therapy when faced with COVID 19.
It must be placed within the first ten days after a person experiences the first symptoms of COVID 19. This treatment cannot be given to patients who are already in a severe state of the disease with respiratory assistance.
According to a study cited by the Washington Post newspaper, administered on time, this treatment reduces the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID 19 by 70 percent.
The earlier the treatment is started, the sooner the first symptom is felt, the greater the effectiveness. According to the FDA emergency authorization, this type of medicine can be placed in patients older than 12 years, regardless of whether or not they are vaccinated against the coronavirus, considered at-risk people.
Among the categories that put a person at risk are advanced age (over 65 years old), pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, obesity, respiratory diseases, hypertension, or pregnancy.
Medical authorities indicate that the treatment should not be considered a substitute for the vaccine.
For those who live in Florida, treatment is now available at no cost and without the need for a doctor's referral. People who test positive for COVID 19, and fall into one of the risk categories established by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control, for its acronym in English), can take an appointment at one of the new clinics and receive the medications. In any case, it is recommended not to self-medicate and to follow up with a primary doctor.
In South Florida, the cocktail is available at the COVID 19 temporary care center set up in Miami's Tropical Park, where they also vaccinate and test for coronavirus. Other area centers are available in Pembroke Pines, Broward County, West Gate Park, and West Palm Beach County.