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Health News Florida

Tampa Bay region COVID-19 patients can get monoclonal antibody treatments at home

Nurses wearing PPE prepare shots of Regeneron's monoclonal antibody treatment drug.
Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County
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The at-home service offers an alternative to the monoclonal antibody treatment sites in the community, some of which have closed, including the one in Hillsborough County near the Florida State Fairgrounds.

Tampa-based DeliveRxd Pharmacy is offering at-home treatment to eligible residents in counties around the region at no cost to the patient.

Patients at high-risk for developing severe COVID-19 can now receive a monoclonal antibody treatment at home.

Tampa-based DeliveRxd Pharmacy is offering the free homebound service in Citrus, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Sumter counties.

“We always want to work with community partners to be able to increase access because that is critical, especially because we do know that there are some people that just don't have the ability to get from place to place,” said Kevin Watler, spokesman with the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County.

Patients don’t have to be bedridden to qualify, but there are eligibility requirements for the treatment (see below).

Watler said the service is convenient and can reduce the risk of further transmission.

“We don't want positive individuals out in the community. So if they're remaining in their isolation spot, folks with DeliveRxd Pharmacy will come and give them the therapy right there," he said. "And hopefully the therapy is going to do exactly what the data is showing and keep them out of severe illness and really help them get much better much faster.”

Monoclonal antibodies have proven to be effective at keeping COVID patients out of the hospital. But patients have to act early for the therapy to work, as it is not meant for people who are already very sick.

RELATED: Monoclonal Antibodies Help Treat COVID-19, But Experts Say Focus Should Be On Prevention

The federal government is paying for the treatment, so patients are not charged for the service. But they may still have to provide health insurance information if they have it.

Those interested can contact the pharmacy at 813-932-6266 to schedule an appointment.

Patients can expect a nurse to come to their home to administer four shots of Regeneron’s antibody drug cocktail. Health workers will then monitor the patient for any adverse reactions.

DeliveRxd Pharmacy says it will screen patients for eligibility ahead of time and lists the following requirements for who qualifies for the treatment:

Post-exposure prophylaxis for adults and pediatric individuals (12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kg) who are:

  • at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death, and
  • not fully vaccinated or who are not expected to mount an adequate immune response to complete SARS-CoV-2 vaccination (for example, people with immunocompromising conditions, including those taking immunosuppressive medications), and
  • have been exposed to an individual infected with SARS-CoV-2 consistent with close contact criteria per Centers for Diease Control and Prevention (CDC), or
  • who are at high risk of exposure to an individual infected with SARS-CoV-2 because of occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in other individuals in the same institutional setting (for example, nursing homes or prisons)

There are still county-run monoclonal antibody sites in parts of the region and several health systems offer the therapy as well. You can find a list of locations here.

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