ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – The state of Florida is opening several new sites to distribute monoclonal antibody therapies for COVID-19, including one in Altamonte Springs.
Starting Tuesday, the new site will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The treatment is free.
The site will be at the former Walgreens on State Road 436 and West Lake Brantley Road, on the western edge of the city.
It is one of five new sites opening around the state.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced last week the state had secured 15,000 doses of Regeneron from the federal government to help treat COVID-19.
Other previously opened state-operated sites in the Central Florida area are located in Apopka, St. Cloud, Rockledge and The Villages.
All COVID-19 therapy locations can be found on the Florida Department of Health’s website.
The efficacy of monoclonal antibody treatment has been in question since the omicron variant was discovered.
AdventHealth Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Vincent Hsu said in a briefing in early January antibodies, like Regeneron, do not work as well to combat omicron.
Doctors are now reassessing the treatment’s efficiency.
EMS Medical Director Dr. Todd Husty said there have been more positive results in patients since December.
“The studies that came out in December was that it was only effective 30% of the time, we’re all convinced that it’s well over 50% of the time,” Husty said.
The new clinic in Altamonte Springs will only administer Regeneron for now.
Hsu said the most effective antibody is Sotrovimab, which is currently in short supply nationwide.
Husty said the site has requested Sotrovimab and is hoping to get more details on when they will receive doses. For now, the location is offering Regeneron and Bamlanivimab.
“When Sotrovimab comes out, we’ll probably save that for people who have more risk factors, I mean really bad risk factors and we’ll use the Regeneron for people with some lesser risk factors,” Husty said.
Although Sotrovimab is being pinned as the most effective antibody, Husty said it is highly unlikely Regeneron will negatively impact patients, adding it can still prevent severe illness and hospitalizations.
He suggests consulting your doctor to figure out if you need treatment.