TAMPA — Tampa General will be one of the first hospitals in Florida to receive the coronavirus vaccine, a spokesman confirmed Thursday.
The hospital did not immediately release any additional information, but news reports suggest it will be one of five hospitals throughout the state to begin receiving shipments next month. The four others are: AdventHealth Orlando, UF Health Jacksonville, Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood and Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
The first shipments are expected to arrive in mid-December, followed by another in January, the newspaper said. And the vaccines will be stored until they’re approved for use.
The news comes as cases rise in the Tampa Bay region, throughout Florida and much of the country. It also comes as Tampa General marks another milestone in COVID-19 treatment, with doctors this week administering the state’s first monoclonal antibody treatment to a coronavirus patient.
The single-dose, infusion-based treatment is provided on an outpatient basis and provides protection to COVID-19 patients who have mild or moderate symptoms to prevent their condition from worsening. It marks a “dramatic shift” in coronavirus care, the hospital said.
“Tampa General’s commitment to treating the community during this global pandemic is what allowed us early access to this first in class treatment,” Dr. Abe Schwarzberg, chief of oncology and senior vice president of oncology and network development at Tampa General, said in a news release.
“Having these monoclonal antibodies will allow our medical teams to provide fast, effective treatment to those patients at highest risk for falling critically ill or possibly dying of complications from COVID-19.”
This is a developing story. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.
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