Arizona governor allots $60M in federal funds for hospitals that use coronavirus antibody treatments

Arizona governor allots $60M in federal funds for hospitals that use coronavirus antibody treatments
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Arizona Gov. Doug DuceyDoug DuceyDemocrats torn over pushing stolen-election narrative Arizona sues Biden administration over threat to claw back COVID-19 funds Some in GOP begin testing party's lockstep loyalty to Trump MORE (R) announced on Wednesday that millions of dollars would be allocated toward hospital staffing at different facilities on the condition that they offer monoclonal antibody treatments.

A total of $60 million would be allocated toward over 700 nurse contracts, according to The Associated Press. Those contracts would be managed by the Arizona Department of Health Services. 

“We are working to make sure they have the resources they need. This funding opportunity will decrease stress on existing hospital staff, increase hiring opportunities and decrease the risk of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Arizona,” Ducey said in a statement on Wednesday. “I’m grateful to all the nurses, doctors, first responders, frontline workers and everyone supporting and protecting our fellow Arizonans during this health emergency.”

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Monoclonal antibody treatments have generally been recommended for those who have a higher likelihood of getting sick from the virus, groups of which include those with underlying health issues or older adults, NBC News reportedThere’s a finite timeline on when a patient needs to have the treatment administered — it’s often within 10 days of the onset of COVID-19 symptoms. 

Though they can be helpful in avoiding hospitalization and death linked to COVID-19, the Food and Drug Administration has emphasized that people should still be getting vaccinated because the treatment is not a substitute, NBC News reported.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisVirginia's Youngkin gets the DeSantis treatment from media Florida redistricting plan faces opposition from DeSantis On immigration, President Biden needs a re-set MORE (R) has also been another proponent of using monoclonal antibodies, though he has also urged people to get vaccinated.

Cases have steadily climbed in Arizona. On Tuesday, the state saw 822 new COVID-19 cases. But the day before, the state reported 3,247 new cases, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. In comparison, cases were in the hundreds in June. 

Nearly 67 percent of Arizona’s population ages 12 and older have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 56 percent are fully vaccinated.