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Gov. Abbott recommends Texans with COVID get Regeneron monoclonal antibody, but not everyone is eligible

The FDA only authorized the treatment for people with mild to moderate symptoms who are at high-risk to help prevent them from becoming seriously ill.

AUSTIN, Texas — After being diagnosed with COVID-19 Tuesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott was given the Regeneron monoclonal antibody therapy treatment.

Editor's note: The attached video originally aired on Tuesday, Aug. 17.

The governor's office issued a statement on Thursday, recommending that Texans with COVID should get a referral for the Regeneron treatment.

“Governor 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."

But a lot of people with COVID aren't eligible for the Regeneron cocktail, which is the same treatment former President Trump received when he was hospitalized with COVID.

The FDA authorized it back in November as an emergency use drug for people with mild to moderate COVID-19 cases who are at high-risk of becoming seriously ill, including those over 65 and people with certain chronic medical conditions.

The FDA has not approved it for those already hospitalized for COVID-19 or those who aren't at high risk of becoming seriously ill. 

Both high-risk adults and children over the age of 12 can get it. 

It's available in the Houston area, but officials say demand is high and supply is low.  

 Texas and Florida have set up clinics providing the treatment.

In his statement Thursday, Abbott also 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.”

Infusion centers are already open in Austin, Corpus Christi, Conroe, Harlingen, and Lubbock, according to Abbott's office.

It's also available eligible patients at some hospitals, including Houston Methodist.

The state will deploy 2,700 additional medical personnel this week to help in hospitals overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, according to Abbott.

Gov. Abbott again urged Texans to get the COVID-19 vaccine. To find a vaccine provider near you, visit covidvaccine.texas.gov.