Monoclonal treatment leading to fewer COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida, officials say

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Each day, cars pack the parking lot at Camping World Stadium as sick people wait to be treated with monoclonal antibodies.

Paul Murray’s wife made an appointment last night for 3 p.m. and got there 30 minutes early, not knowing what the line was going to be like.

When they arrived, Murray said his wife had 65 people in front of her.

“So it’ll be probably another couple of hours. Then she’s got to get the infusion, which takes another hour and a half,” he said.

There are 21 state-supported Regeneron sites operating around Florida including ones in Orlando, The Villages, Ormond Beach and Merritt Island.

Since opening a few weeks ago, more than 43,000 people have been treated overall, and health leaders said hospitalizations have been decreasing ever since.

Murray said he and his wife were both vaccinated in January, but she got tested three weeks ago and didn’t have any antibodies in her system, then she came back positive.

“So she wanted to do this to make sure that she had something in her system, so that she would be protected,” Murray said.

State officials said Regeneron’s clinically proven to reduce the risk of hospitalization and deaths in high-risk patients by about 70%.

That means out of the 2,400 people who have been treated at the Orlando site, it’s possible that about 1,600 have been kept out of local hospitals.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.