More than 5.7 million New Jersey residents are now fully vaccinated, but with the Delta variant still circulating, almost 2,000 new COVID cases a day are now being reported in the Garden State and hospitalizations continue to slowly rise.

During the coronavirus update held virtually on Wednesday, New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said if you don’t feel well it’s extremely important to get tested, and if you find out you have the virus you should consider getting monoclonal antibody treatment.

She said antibodies are proteins that can be used to fight COVID and “antibodies made in a laboratory act a lot like natural antibodies to limit the amount of virus in your body, they are called monoclonal antibodies.

She noted “the goal of this therapy is to help prevent hospitalizations, reduce viral loads and lessen symptom severity.

However, it’s not for everybody.

Persichilli explained monoclonal antibody treatment, given through an IV infusion at a hospital or medical center outpatient clinic, can be used by people who test positive for COVID with mild to moderate symptoms and “are within 10 days of the start of their symptoms, are age 12 or older and weigh at least 88 pounds, and are at high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.”

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She said if you do test positive “talk to your healthcare provider about whether antibody therapy is right for them.”

Persichilli said recent activity in the state of Florida have demonstrated monoclonal antibody therapy is very effective against the Delta variant.

“Florida had upwards of 15 to 20 thousand cases in the hospital and their use of monoclonal antibodies increased exponentially,” she said.

Last month Florida officials set up 25 state-run monoclonal antibody treatment sites for their residents, free of charge.

She said up until recently local health care providers in Jersey had been in charge of their own monoclonal antibody treatment supplies but they have become so popular control that of the supplies “is going to revert back to the Department of Health so that equitable distribution of monoclonal antibodies can be managed going forward.”

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