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Gov. DeSantis, Jacksonville mayor discuss benefits of antibody treatment, vaccines against COVID-19

Health experts discussed preventive monoclonal antibody treatment and how it may be beneficial to Floridians with compromised immune systems.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry joined a Zoom Roundtable Wednesday with hospital leaders from around the state.

This amid surging coronavirus cases on the First Coast and the state of Florida.

Health experts discussed preventive monoclonal antibody treatment and how it may be beneficial to Floridians with compromised immune systems.

On Friday, the FDA issued an emergency use order authorizing the antibody treatment as a preventive measure after exposure.

This is the first time an injectable coronavirus antibody treatment has been approved for use as a prevention of Covid after someone has been exposed to the virus, reports NBC.

Curry was asked by DeSantis during the roundtable if people in NE Florida were aware of the new treatment.

"I don't think are very much aware of it... and I think some messaging would be helpful," said Curry. 

"I think if people know that that's out there, I think it will be something that will be good," responded DeSantis.

RELATED: New antibody therapy offered at First Coast hospital

Later in the roundtable, Curry once again pushed vaccines, saying that those who are vaccinated are less likely to develop serious symptoms as a result of COVID-19.

"If you have a concern about a vaccine, get with your healthcare provider, look at the information, my family's been vaccinated, that's a choice we made and I think it was the right choice," he said.

He said hospitals in Jacksonville would not be busy and full if more people chose to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

RELATED: Yes, current COVID hospitalizations in Florida are 'worse than the worst last year'

In attendance was AHCA Secretary Simone Marstiller, Tampa General CEO John Couris, Jackson Health System CEO Carlos Migoya, North Broward Hospital District CEO Shane Strum, UF Health Shands CEO Ed Jimenez, Orlando Health CEO David Strong and Orlando Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. George Ralls.

There were no Jacksonville hospitals represented in the roundtable. First Coast News has reached out to the Governor's Office to ask why.

RELATED: Can monoclonal antibody therapy protect you from COVID-19?

RELATED: 11,515 patients: Florida again breaks record for COVID-19 hospitalizations

Florida reported 110,477 new COVID-19 cases between Jul. 23 and Jul. 29. This pushes the state's overall total to 2,590,699 cases since March 2020.

As of August 2, the total confirmed hospitalizations across the state related to COVID-19 is 10,389.

The state reports that overall in Florida, 39,079 people have died after being infected with the coronavirus.