Health

What to Know About Evusheld If You’re at Risk for Severe COVID-19

Since December 2021, a medication which can prevent severe illness in COVID-19-affected people has been available. But some people who may benefit from receiving the breakthrough medication, called Evusheld, either haven’t heard of it or don’t realize they qualify for it. Experts claim that medical providers have also struggled to access Evusheld and get it to patients who may need it.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Evusheld emergency use authorization (EUA) for people who can’t complete their immunization series due to vaccine-specific allergies and for people who have weakened immune systems. The available vaccines work by stimulating the body’s immune response to develop protective antibodies, but some immunocompromised people may not develop enough of these infection fighters post-vaccination—and that’s where Evusheld comes in.

How does Evusheld function?

Evusheld, a preventive medication, contains two monoclonal antibodies (tixagevimab et cilgavimab), both of which are laboratory-made proteins that mimic an immune system to fight off harmful pathogens. FDA. The coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 is known to have spike proteins on the surface. These spike proteins are used by the virus to infect your body. According to the FDA monoclonal antibody Evusheld blocks spike proteins from attaching or entering human cells.

Evusheld is administered in two injections. Usually, the injections are made in the hip. According to the FDA, this is one dose of the medication that provides protection against COVID-19 exposure for up to six months. To maintain your protection, you must continue receiving the injections every six month. 

Evusheld isn’t a treatment for COVID-19, and it is not offered as an “extra” form of protection for otherwise healthy, fully vaccinated people or as an alternative to vaccination if you don’t have a vaccine-specific allergy, Priya Sampathkumar, MDDr., an infectious disease specialist at The Mayo ClinicRochester, Minnesota tells SELF.

How effective is Evusheld

According to Evusheld, Evusheld may decrease the risk of developing COVID-19 up to 77% in adults who are not vaccinated. a clinical trial conducted by the medication’s manufacturer, AstraZeneca, and the U.S. government. Participants included those who were at higher risk of not producing an adequate immune reaction to vaccination, as well as people who were more likely than others to be exposed to COVID-19.

In February, the FDAIt has doubled the recommended dosage for Evusheld since the EUA was first granted. The federal agency stated that the higher dose is more effective against certain Omicron subvariants. “The doubling of the dose is intended to overcome what we call immune evasiveness,” Dr. Sampathkumar says. (These variants can cause spike proteins to mutate, which could potentially allow them evade established immunity in certain people. According to the National Institutes of Health.)

Scientists are also studying how the Evusheld protects from newer subvariants. Some early examples researchIt may be able to offer some protection against BA.5 variant, currently dominant in the U.S. FDAEvusheld is generally less effective than BA.4 or BA.5 when compared to BA.1, who was leading COVID-19 case count counts in early 2022.

How can I get Evusheld

Evusheld can only be received by people who are at least 12 years old and weigh at least 85 pounds. You must not have been infected recently or knowingly exposed COVID-19 according to the FDA. Eligible are only those who are unable to produce a protective amount or allergic to the vaccines or component vaccines.

Source: Slef

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