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NATIONAL CITY, Calif. — National City’s fire chief is sharing his experience with monoclonal antibody treatment after catching COVID-19 while on vacation with his family.

Frank Parra said he and his wife, who is in law enforcement, got the COVID vaccine early on. That’s why he was surprised when he started to feel off a few days after returning from a trip with friends.

“On day three, I was like 102.8 [degrees]. It was uncomfortable, terrible body aches, headaches, productive cough,” Parra said.

Both he and his wife experienced breakthrough cases of COVID-19, which make up a small percentage of overall cases. They’d heard of monoclonal antibody treatment and made a same-day appointment at a treatment center in North County.

“We went on a Saturday at like 2 o’clock, received the infusion, 45-minute infusion, 30-minute wait time afterwards,” Parra said. “Saturday night was a little rough. Sunday come Monday, we were 100%, we were nearly 100%.”

The treatment worked so well for Parra and his wife that they recommended it to their friends, who were also infected following the vacation.

“Sent them in, got them appointments. They got treated and they’re doing great,” Parra said. “For me, I think this shortened the duration of my illness truly. This has been a wonderful resource.”

As San Diego continues to see an increase in COVID-19 cases, Parra is encouraging San Diegans to get vaccinated against the coronavirus and helping spread the word about the antibody treatment. It is available for free to anyone in the early stages of COVID-19 regardless of whether or not they’ve been vaccinated.

San Diego County health officials said anyone interested in the treatment should call 619-685-2500.