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New monoclonal antibody treatment site opens in Lakeland

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was in Lakeland Saturday to announce the opening of another monoclonal antibody treatment center.

The new treatment site will be at Lakes Church, located at 1010 E. Memorial Blvd. and will operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The location is able to serve 300 patients each day, according to the governor.

The treatments are free of charge and are available to people who have already tested positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status. The governor said the treatment can also be used as a prophylaxis for people who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 who may have had exposure to somebody who was COVID-19 positive.

On Friday, he held three news briefings to open sites and earlier in the week, he made stops in Central Florida to announce other site openings in Ormond Beach, Orlando and on Merritt Island.

During one of Friday’s news conferences, he said the hope is that by early next week, there will be 21 treatment sites throughout the state.

“We will be adding shortly a handful of others throughout the state and so by the beginning early this week, you will likely have one of these sites within a relative distance of the vast, vast majority of our population, which is a really good thing,” DeSantis said again Saturday.

DeSantis said the state-run sites are offering Regeneron-brand treatments, which he says have been proven effective against the delta variant.

While still encouraging vaccinations as an extra layer of protection against the coronavirus, the governor acknowledged breakthrough cases are happening among vaccinated individuals and said the monoclonal antibody treatments are a good option to help lessen the severity of symptoms and keep those infected out of the hospital.

In clinical trials, monoclonal antibody treatment showed a 70% reduction in hospitalization and death, according to Floridahealthcovid19.gov.

If you are 12 years or older and are at high risk for severe illness due to COVID-19, you are eligible for MAT treatment, according to the state-operated website.

Monoclonal antibody treatments are also offered at other locations not run by the state. Use the map below to help locate a MAT site not operated by the state.

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