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What is Regeneron COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment?

Gov. Greg Abbott's office announced the governor is receiving the treatment after he tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.

AUSTIN, Texas — On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott's office announced that the governor has tested positive for COVID-19.

Following that announcement, his office said he was receiving Regeneron's monoclonal antibody treatment.

RELATED: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tests positive for COVID-19

As Abbott received the Pfizer vaccine last December and reports no signs of COVID-19 symptoms so far, the big question on everyone's mind is, "What is Regeneron's treatment?"

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the monoclonal antibody treatment is a one-time treatment that's given through an IV. The drug is a combination of two antibodies that can fight off the virus before it gets worse.

RELATED: Antibody treatment could decrease COVID-19 hospitalizations by 80%, researcher says

According to a report by Bloomberg, recent data shows this treatment cuts the risk of hospitalization or death by roughly 70% in high-risk patients, and can reduce the chance of infection among a patient’s household members by more than 80%. However, it cannot be used on patients who are already hospitalized with COVID-19 or are on oxygen therapy.

The FDA says Regeneron's antibody treatment is not a substitute for vaccination against COVID-19 and still urges all eligible people to get vaccinated. 

Gov. Abbott's office released the following statement on Thursday:

“Gov. Abbott’s doctor prescribed Regeneron's monoclonal antibody therapy treatment, which is available at no cost to all Texans who get a doctor’s referral. It is recommended that Texans testing positive for COVID-19 seek this antibody therapeutic drug because of its effectiveness to help keep people out of hospitals. Today, the governor announced the continued expansion of COVID-19 Antibody Infusion Centers across Texas. That is in addition to more than 140 providers that are providing antibody treatment at hospitals and clinics across the state.” 

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