EDINBURG — A second regional center that will give free antibody treatments to COVID-19 patients opened here Friday.
The outpatient center, located at the campus of Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, was opened through a partnership between the Texas Division of Emergency Management, Hidalgo County and the physician-owned hospital.
The center will provide Regeneron’s monoclonal antibodies to help fight off the virus to anyone with a doctor’s referral beginning Friday.
Former President Donald Trump, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez received the treatment when they became infected.
“As someone who has had COVID-19 and received the antibody therapy, I can tell you it is truly a miracle,” Cortez said. “It is quick and in my case it stopped the virus before I developed most symptoms.”
The infusions are usually administered intravenously and take about 30 minutes, with at least an hour of observation afterward.
Patients, however, must meet certain medical conditions and be referred by a primary care physician.
The center will operate seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and has the capacity to serve 20 patients at a time.
It is the second such center to open in the Rio Grande Valley. TDEM opened one in Harlingen on Aug. 14.
“The State of Texas is proud to partner with local officials and health leaders to launch a second infusion center in the Rio Grande Valley,” Abbott said. “I urge Texans who test positive for COVID-19 to talk to their doctor about receiving this free and effective treatment.”
The monoclonal antibody treatment is meant to prevent a person’s condition from worsening and requiring hospital care, thereby increasing bed capacity at local hospitals so that resources are available for the most ill patients. The state deployed similar measures in November 2020 to communities across Texas.
The public is encouraged to speak with their primary physicians for more information. Medical providers can call (956) 362-6843.