In a winning breakthrough against the pandemic, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a COVID-19 antibody drug by AstraZeneca. The drug is specifically approved for immunocompromised people, not just to protect against the virus but also from severe side effects of the Covid vaccine.
People with weak immune systems who are more vulnerable against Covid, despite the vaccine, will now be able to get the COVID-19 antibody drug by prescription. There have been other antibody drugs used for the virus in the previous year, but none of them addressed the virus for long term.
The COVID-19 antibody drug is called “Evusheld,” and it is approved for all individuals and children 12 and above. The recommended dose of the drug is two shots that will be able to address the infection and prevent Covid-19 for upto six months. People who will be eligible for the drug have an immune system that has not responded well to the common vaccines available for the general public.
This COVID-19 antibody drug by AstraZeneca will be the first of its kind long term solution that helps prevent the virus and its severe consequences for the most vulnerable. Those included in the list of people eligible vary from people who are patients of serious diseases such as cancer, to patients who take any kind of immune-suppressing drugs for their pre-existing conditions.
According to ABC News, about 2-3% of the U.S. population falls into that category who will be eligible for the drug. Dr. David Boulware of the University of Minnesota shared his approval of the go-ahead saying, “These people still have to shelter in place because they’re at really high risk of severe disease and death. So having this therapy will enable a lot of them to get back to their normal lives.”
The COVID-19 antibody drug is made using laboratory-made human antibody proteins that aid the immune system in fighting off the virus adequately, in addition to many other similar infections.
In addition to the pros of the antibody drug, it is important to note that it is not an economic or completely long-term solution for everyone. They are not only tricky to manufacture but also cost thrice as much as a vaccine dose does. Apart from the AstraZeneca antibody drug, FDA has previously green-lighted three other antibody measures by Regeneron, Eli Lilly and GlaxoSmithKline.