A: Evusheld helps prevent COVID infections for up to 6 months.
Despite the ~7 million Americans who are significantly immunocompromised, only 400,000 doses have been administered so far, suggesting a lack of awareness among patients and doctors.
Evusheld is a combination of two monoclonal antibodies authorized as a PREVENTATIVE treatment for people with compromised immune systems AND for people with life threatening allergies to COVID-19 vaccines. On June 29, 2022 the FDA updated recommendations for repeat dosing every 6 months after the original dose to boost protection. A 300mg dose of Evusheld appears to be protective against Omicron variants. COVID-19 vaccinations remain the first line treatment to prevent infection and severe disease, but Evusheld provides important additional protection to those who qualify.
❓What is Evusheld?
Evusheld is a PREVENTATIVE treatment, meaning you take it BEFORE you are exposed or infected with COVID-19. This kind of treatment is known as pre-exposure prophylaxis and received FDA Emergency Use Authorization. It is not a treatment for an active COVID-19 infection. Evusheld is made of two different monoclonal antibodies packed together- Tixagevimab and Cilgavimab. The antibodies are given as two intramuscular injections at the same time. The antibodies prevent infection and severe illness for 6 months by binding with different portions of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to prevent entry into cells, so the virus can’t replicate. The treatment provides protection for 6 months when given as a 300mg dose and is recommended to be repeated every 6 months to boost immunity.
❓Who is it for?
Evusheld offers protection to people with certain medical conditions who may not mount a good immune response to COVID-19 vaccines. and remain vulnerable to serious COVID-19 disease . Evusheld is for people age 12 and over with moderately or severely compromised immune systems. . Evusheld also provides safe protection for the small number of people who experience anaphylaxis to COVID-19 vaccines or the ingredients in the vaccine, although those with severe allergy to polyethylene glycol should consider consultation with an allergy specialist first. Evusheld can be taken 2 or more weeks after a COVID-19 vaccine.
Examples of medical conditions and medications that cause immuno-compromise include:
-Recent stem cell transplant
-Primary immunodeficiency syndromes
-Advanced or untreated HIV infection
– Chemotherapy used to treat cancer
– Corticosteroids like Prednisone taken at high doses for more than 2 weeks, used to suppress inflammation for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or asthma
– Immune system suppressing medication given to people who have received an organ transplant to prevent organ rejection and to people with inflammatory bowel conditions such as Crohn’s disease
❓How well does Evusheld work?
Evusheld is a great option for immunocompromised people. . In the original clinical trial, Evusheld significantly reduced severe illness in the treatment group compared to the control group. Updated data suggests a single 300mg dose of Evusheld (compared to two 150mg doses) increased effectiveness against Omicron variants for up to 6 months, at which time repeat dosing is recommended to boost immunity.
❓What are the risks and side effects with Evusheld?
The most commonly reported side effects were minor- headache, fatigue, and cough. People in the treatment group had a slightly higher rate of serious heart events, though all had underlying cardiac conditions prior to the study. Evusheld contains an ingredient similar to polyethylene glycol, which is in other COVID-19 vaccines and can cause a rare but serious allergic reaction. People who are very allergic to polyethylene glycol should consult an allergy specialist prior to Evusheld treatment.
🎆 🎆 🎆 Take Home Points:
👉 Evusheld is an important and currently underutilized tool for preventing COVID-19 infection and severe disease among the immunocompromised. If you fall in this category, ask your clinician about boosting your protection with Evusheld.
👉Vaccines remain the best option to prevent infection and severe disease for people with well-functioning immune systems.
👉 Evusheld is not authorized to treat COVID-19 during an active infection or after direct exposure to someone with COVID-19. Similar to a vaccine, it is preventative.
👉 A dose of 300mg with repeat dosing at 6 months intervals appears to be effective against newer Omicron strains of COVID-19
Stay safe. Stay well.
Those Nerdy Girls