Combating the surge of the delta variant while declining to get behind vaccine mandates, red states like Florida and Texas are increasing access to monoclonal antibody treatments to help keep Americans out of the hospital.
"This monoclonal treatment is probably one of the best ways to be able to [prevent serious illness], it's important to do it early, though," Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday. "If you wait till you're very, very ill and in need of hospital admission or intensive care, these antibodies at that point probably have missed their window to really nuke this."
DeSantis and Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott have opened sites to increase availability of the treatment that has emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Florida has 21 sites offering access to monoclonal antibody treatments, while Texas has 13, offering the treatment to COVID-19 infected patients free of charge, the Washington Examiner reported.
Abbott knows first hand of the treatment, having received a prescription earlier this month to combat his COVID-19 infection. It is the treatment hailed by former President Donald Trump when he was hospitalized with COVID-19 in October 2020.
Even Dr. Anthony Fauci has touted the treatment's efficacy, saying it can help cut the risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19 by 70%-85%, the Examiner reported.
"We're doing thousands [of antibody treatments] every day," DeSantis said. "Just think, a lot of those folks ... would have needed to be admitted to a hospital had they not had access to that treatment.
"It also makes sure that you're not having admissions that continue to explode, that takes a lot of stress off the hospital."
The treatment is a lab-made protein that helps spur the body immune response to the virus. The intravenous treatment is intended for those within 10 days of testing positive, before they are seriously ill.
The southern red states of Texas, Florida, Louisiana, and Alabama have been struggling with a surge in COVID-19 cases, while remaining low on their vaccination rates, according to the report:
- Florida 52%.
- Texas less than 50%.
- Louisiana 41%.
- Alabama 37%.
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