COVID-19 vaccinations offer best hope to avoid hospitalizations related to virus

Posted 8/20/21

TALAHASSEE. – On Aug. 19, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried granted permission for a new COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapy treatment site at the Florida State Fairgrounds in …

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COVID-19 vaccinations offer best hope to avoid hospitalizations related to virus

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TALAHASSEE. – On Aug. 19, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried granted permission for a new COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapy treatment site at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. The Fairgrounds is operated by the Florida State Fair Authority under the supervision of the Commissioner of Agriculture, pursuant to Florida state law.

Vaccination remains scientifically proven the most effective way to prevent infection from COVID-19, with up to 95 percent effectiveness against severe COVID-19 disease. Vaccines are free, strongly encouraged by health experts and state and federal officials, and widely available to all Floridians over age 12. An estimated 92 percent of those hospitalized for COVID-19 in Florida are unvaccinated. Wearing of masks is also strongly encouraged as a highly-effective tool supported by science and medical experts to prevent COVID-19, particularly in schools and other close-contact indoor environments.  

For those testing positive for COVID-19, particularly those at high-risk, monoclonal antibody therapy treatment infusions are free, may ease COVID-19 symptoms, and are most effective within the first few days after COVID-19 diagnosis. 

“To be explicitly clear: vaccines remain the absolute number-one way to reduce transmission of COVID-19 and prevent severe disease, hospitalization, and death from the virus – proven by science and backed by the medical community. The massive spikes in COVID-19 cases driving our hospital system to the brink is largely by unvaccinated individuals. I continue to encourage every eligible Floridian to take advantage of this free, easy, and effective way to stay safe – get your shot today, not tomorrow,” said Commissioner Nikki Fried. “For those who unfortunately test positive for COVID-19, monoclonal antibody therapy may help reduce symptoms when treated early, so we’re pleased to make the Florida State Fairgrounds available for those needing this treatment.” 

Additional information and locations will be available from the Florida Department of Health COVID-19 treatment website, which also contains information on COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, a vaccine locator, and testing locations. Floridians are also encouraged to follow tips from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Be SMART Florida campaign: social distance, mask up, avoid crowds, wash hands, and throw away disposable masks, gloves, and other PPE after use.

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