OCALA (CBSMiami) – Governor Ron DeSantis, alongside State Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, has announced a  new treatment to prevent getting COVID-19.

At a news conference outside the Ocala Regional Medical Center, DeSantis said Florida is adding the preventative monoclonal antibody therapy, EvuShield, to its arsenal in combatting the spread and treatment of the virus.

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However, EvuShield is different than other monoclonal antibody treatments, like Regeneron and sotrovimab, which are used to treat patients after they’ve been infected. EvuShield is used as a long-term preventative for people who have not yet been exposed or infected with COVID-19.

He said the treatment is ideal for people who are immunocompromised or those who have a history of adverse reactions to vaccinations.

“According to clinical trials, recipients of this new monoclonal antibody therapy saw a 77 percent reduced risk of developing COVID-19,” said State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo.

The FDA authorized emergency use of EvuShield on December 8 for adults and children 12 and older with serious health problems or allergies who can’t get adequate protection from vaccination. It’s made by AstraZeneca.

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DeSantis said the state has 3,100 does that will be distributed to sites that are already administering monoclonal antibody treatments.

To find sites in Florida that offer this treatment and other monoclonal antibody treatments, you can visit FloridaHealthCovid19.gov.

People who could benefit from the antibody drug include cancer patients, organ transplant recipients and people taking immune-suppressing drugs for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Health experts estimate about 2 percent to 3 percent of the U.S. population falls into that group.

Regulators said the required two antibody injections may be effective at preventing COVID-19 infections for six months.

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The FDA and other health authorities have stressed that antibody drugs are not a substitute for vaccines, which are the most effective, long-lasting, and economical form of virus protection. Antibody drugs are tricky to manufacture and often cost more than $1,000 per dose compared with vaccines that are typically under $30 per shot.

CBSMiami.com Team