County Officials Stress Vaccines Over Antibody Treatments


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COVID hospitalizations have declined in Palm Beach County and health officials credit monoclonal antibody treatments for part of the reason.

The injections are for people who test positive, but haven't gotten any severe symptoms yet. Still, County Administrator Verdenia Baker says it's no replacement for vaccinations.

"This is not the solution to this pandemic. Don't depend on monoclonal. This is to avoid you going into the hospital and hopefully not dying. So, please by all means continue to get vaccinated."

County Commissioner Gregg Weiss says that while the injections are free for the patient, their costly to the federal government and the taxpayers.

"And it's about $1,500 a dose is my understanding. So that means in Palm Beach County we've expended about $6 million in providing monoclonal treatments to folks and so far in the state of Florida it's about $123 million."

Fellow Commissioner Melissa McKinlay expressed frustrations that people who are against the vaccine would have no problem being injected with lab-made proteins either through multiple needles in their body or via IV.

"It flusters me to think that somebody would be opposed to getting the vaccine, but they're okay with getting the virus and then getting a treatment that really has the same FDA status as the vaccine does in the first place."

The FDA has given full approval to the Pfizer vaccine for adult use, while the rest of the vaccines are still for emergency use only.

McKinlay had county Health Director Dr. Alina Alonso explain how the Regeneron treatments are administered.

More than 4,000 monoclonal antibody treatments have been administered since August 19 at two sites in Palm Beach County, Westgate Park in West Palm Beach and Lakeside Medical Center in Belle Glade.

In all, 25 of these sites have opened across the state.

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