There are a lot of questions regarding Evusheld, a treatment released by AstraZeneca in response to the COVID-19 virus. In this post, we will examine what it is, what segment of the population it was meant for, and where it fits amongst the several vaccines that are now available.
Evusheld is not a vaccine
The first thing to note is that this protocol is not a vaccine for COVID-19. Unlike other mAb medications, Evusheld is not a treatment. It is a preventative medication for those who have significant immune disorders or those who have experienced a severe reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine and cannot receive additional vaccinations. This product is not a competitor to vaccines because it is, in fact, not one.
What is it, and how does it work
EvuSheld is an investigational medicine used in adults and adolescents starting at the age of 12 to help prevent infection of COVID-19. This treatment was approved by the Federal Drug Administration in December of 2021 using an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
Contrary to the misinformation out there related to EUAs, products released under that provision are required to go through extensive, rigorous testing and trials before they are approved for use. Verified by outside experts and under government oversight, the only real difference is the condensed timeline in which adequate testing takes place.
This protocol keeps the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 from entering the cells of the body, preventing illness. In other words, it is an antibody treatment that can protect against exposure for up to 12 months. Think of it as your own personal bubble. The results have been very promising. According to recent studies, it has been shown to reduce the risk of symptomatic COVID-19 by up to 83%.
It is important to state that if someone is qualified to take the COVID-19 vaccine, this should not be used as a replacement. The vaccine still remains the most effective defense against the virus for most healthy individuals.
Who is a candidate for Evusheld
Evusheld was designed to serve specific segments of society for whom the vaccine may not work effectively at this time. While the vaccine was meant to work for most people, it is impossible to account for every variance and circumstance. For those instances, Evusheld is their alternative.
The severely immunocompromised
Certain conditions, such as HIV and AIDS, destroy immune cells, leaving the body vulnerable to other attacks. Additionally, autoimmune conditions such as lupus, type 1 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis turn immune cells into double agents that fight against your own healthy tissues. Administering the vaccine in this environment could have dire consequences.
Those with suppressed immune systems
This includes people undergoing chemotherapy or other treatments that may suppress the immune system. Those who have undergone an organ transplant and are taking immunosuppressant therapy would also be a candidate for Evusheld.
For immunocompromised patients, taking the vaccine may not be an option. Evusheld is offered as a hedge of protection for them so that they can have peace of mind that they are not completely exposed. With an 89% effectiveness rate, it does offer good protection.
People unable to get the vaccine
It is rare, but there are some people that are allergic to the COVID-19 vaccine. Presenting with symptoms such as hives, swelling, and wheezing within four hours of their first injection, the allergic reactions can become very severe. As a result, they are unable to get their follow-up shots or boosters. Evusheld provides a very effective stop-gap measure for those who are physically unable to get vaccinated.
Who does not qualify for Evusheld?
People currently infected or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 are not eligible.
How is it administered?
The process is very similar to getting vaccinated. A medical professional will determine your eligibility and get you scheduled. The medication consists of two injections. Injections should be repeated after six months to maintain prevention. Depending on your medical provider, your out-of-pocket expenses will vary.
Are there side effects?
Like with any product, there are side effects. Encouragingly there are very minimal reported side effects for this medication. Some effects include headache, nausea, hypersensitivity to the medication, and fatigue.
While it is meant for only a specific segment of the population, supply for this product has remained limited, getting increasingly harder to get a hold of. Many medical professionals are encouraging patients to anticipate longer wait times when it comes to getting it administered.
In this time of continued uncertainty, we hope this helps you stay informed on options that are available to you and your loved ones as we navigate through this pandemic.
Evusheld Antibody Therapy with Drip Hydration
Authorized by the FDA under the emergency use authorization (EUA), EVUSHELD is a treatment that may prevent COVID-19 in eligible individuals.
EVUSHELD is a monoclonal antibody therapy that aims to prevent COVID-19 in adults and adolescents aged 12 and over who meet eligibility criteria. A single dose that consists of two separate injections provides long-lasting protection against the COVID-19 virus in individuals who are not currently infected with the virus.
Appointments only take a few minutes. One of our registered nurses will come to your location to administer the injection. Contact us today to get started!