On Tuesday morning, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the opening of a new monoclonal antibody treatment site at the St. Cloud Civic Center. The treatment site will be open 7 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm.
The Governor made the announcement along with Florida Division of Emergency Management officials and numerous other local officials by his side, including Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kenneth Scheppke, State Representative for District 42 Fred Hawkins, St. Cloud City Manager Bill Sturgeon, Mayor Nathan Blackwell, St. Cloud Police Chief Pete Gauntlett, Osceola Emergency Center Director Bill Litton, and a number of residents who shared their support and experience with Regeneron, and how it helped them quickly recover from COVID-19.
The governor said he was there to share with Osceola County the benefit of the antibody treatment and how it is another beneficial tool in the continued fight against COVID-19.
Regeneron’s treatment, called REGN-COV2, is a combination of two types of monoclonal antibodies. Monoclonal antibodies work by targeting the coronavirus spike protein, blocking the virus from entering your body’s cells, and stopping the infection from spreading.
According to DeSantis, 65,000 Floridians have already taken advantage of monoclonal antibody treatments in one of the 21 treatment sites across the state and that up to 300 individuals will now be able receive the free antibody treatment daily in St. Cloud.
Appointments can be made at patientportalfl.com, but walk-ups are acceptable.
“We think this will be very helpful for folks in Osceola County,” the governor said. “We’re trying to make it as accessible as possible.”
Dennis Sharp, a local St. Cloud man who was diagnosed with cancer just as he was about to receive his second vaccination, has a suppressed immune system, and shared how Regeneron quickly helped him get well after testing positive for COVID-19.
“I thought the treatment would do it’s job from everything I heard and I wouldn’t have to be hospitalized,” Sharp said.
Chief Medical Officer Scheppke said that the prevention from the vaccine and the treatment from monoclonal antibody sites are “two arms” the state is using against COVID-19.
DeSantis said no matter what someone’s vaccination status is, those over the age of 50 or overweight, should definitely take advantage of the antibody treatment.