Need COVID treatment? New monoclonal antibody centers now open in South Florida

·2 min read
Pedro Portal/pportal@miamiherald.com

Three new monoclonal antibody sites have opened in South Florida to meet demand for the scarce treatment, which can help keep high-risk people ill with COVID-19 out of the hospital.

The sites

In Miami-Dade, the new site is at Miami Dade College North Campus, 11380 NW 27th Ave. near Opa-locka, which already serves as a testing and vaccine site.

In Broward, the site is at Markham Park, 16001 W. State Rd 94 in Sunrise, which is also a testing site.

In Palm Beach County, the therapy is available at West Boynton Recreation Center, 6000 Northtree Blvd.

Hours and appointments

All three sites opened Tuesday morning. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days. The sites offer the treatment for free. New sites also opened Tuesday in Duval and Seminole counties. Appointments can be made at patientportalfl.com.

The new sites come after Florida saw a surge of cases during the holidays, with hospitalizations approaching records set during delta’s wave last year. Just like the demand for tests, people crowded treatment centers, with the sites at Tropical Park in Westchester and C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines temporarily closing last month after running out of supplies.

The treatment

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been calling on the federal government, which controls the supply of the monoclonal antibodies, to send more shipments to the state. On Jan. 7, he announced that 15,000 doses of Regeneron’s therapy, known as REGEN-COV, would become available to open new sites.

A new COVID-19 therapy is in high demand, challenging Florida to balance access and need

The treatment is for people 12 and older who have tested positive or were exposed to COVID-19 and are considered to be “high risk” for severe COVID illness, including hospitalization and death. Monoclonal antibody treatments are designed to give the immune system an extra boost to help combat the disease, enough to hopefully keep them out of the hospital.

REGEN-COV is effective against the delta variant but may be less effective against the highly contagious omicron variant, which is now the dominant strain in Miami-Dade and the U.S., as the Miami Herald has reported. The monoclonal antibody treatment that appears to be the most effective against omicron is a drug called sotrovimab.

To learn more

To learn more about eligibility requirements or find other treatment sites in Florida, visit floridahealthcovid19.gov. You can also call the Florida Department of Health Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Support Line at 850-344-9637.

This article will be updated.

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