MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A new monoclonal antibody treatment site is now open in Miami-Dade County, at Tropical Park in Southwest Miami-Dade. Another is open in Broward County at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines.

As Gov. Ron DeSantis crisscrosses the state touting their effectiveness as a treatment against COVID-19, it’s important to remember not everyone who catches the coronavirus is eligible to receive the treatment, which has been proven to reduce risk of hospitalization and death.

READ MORE: Proposal Seeks To Expand Florida's 'Move Over' Law

Monoclonal antibodies are man-made proteins that act like human antibodies in the immune system which help fight off infections.

This specific treatment is for people in the early stages of COVID-19 with mild-to-moderate symptoms.

Here is the criteria for treatment according to the FDA:

  • All people age 65 and older
  • People with obesity or those who are overweight (adults with a BMI of more than 25, and children age 12-17 who have a BMI at the 85th percentile or greater).
  • Pregnant people.
  • People with chronic kidney or lung disease (including asthma).
  • Individuals with cardiovascular disease or hypertension.
  • People with diabetes.
  • People with sickle cell disease.
  • Those living with neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • People who are immunocompromised or taking immunocompromising medication.
  • Those who have a “medical-related technological dependence” such as a tracheostomy or gastrostomy.
  • It cannot be used on patients who are already hospitalized with COVID-19 or are on oxygen therapy.

A positive test for COVID-19 is required, which must be reviewed by a physician or health professional. They then decide whether to recommend an antibody treatment for the patient, which usually means scheduling an appointment at a local administration site.

READ MORE: Tracking The Tropics: New Tropical Storm Formation Possible This Weekend

To be effective, the drugs are supposed to be given within 10 days of initial symptoms. That’s the timeframe in which they have been shown to cut rates of hospitalization and death by roughly 70%.

Medical experts agreed that the drugs should not be seen as the first line of defense against the virus or a substitute for wearing a mask and getting vaccinated.

The treatments are free.

If you qualify for treatment, visit patientportalfl.com to make an appointment.

MORE NEWS: Report: Miami-Dade School District Misused $6M For Driver’s Ed Programs

More information and a map of other monoclonal antibody sites is available at floridahealthcovid19.gov. You can also call 850-344-9637.

CBSMiami.com Team