The COVID-19 virus poses a significant threat to individuals with underlying medical conditions. Arguably, the most serious risk exists for people with compromised immune systems. While the use of vaccines has been the core defense against preventing infection from COVID-19, immune compromised individuals are often unable to generate a strong enough immune response needed to protect against severe infection from COVID-19.
In my practice, we observed a reduced immune response to COVID-19 vaccination in moderately to severely immune compromised patients with medical conditions and treatments, such as solid organ transplant, chemotherapy or primary immune deficiencies. These patients were left without the defense that most of the population was beginning to receive. People who are immunocompromised may benefit from the use of EVUSHELD.
Evusheld is a combination of two monoclonal antibodies (tixagevimab and cilgavimab) to help your body build more protection against the COVID-19 virus. This medication has received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorization in patients 12 years or older who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and for people who are unable to receive any available COVID-19 vaccination due to a history of severe adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine(s) and/or COVID-19 vaccine components. Importantly, it is prescribed to individuals that are not currently infected with COVID-19 and have not had recent exposure to individuals with known COVID-19 infection. The initial dose is given as two separate injections and repeated every 6 months.
A growing body of research shows Evusheld is both safe and effective. The primary data supporting Evusheld authorization in the United States come from the ongoing PROVENT (Phase III), which is a pre-exposure prevention trial. PROVENT showed a significant reduction in the risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19 in the treatment group compared to placebo by 77% in the primary analysis along with 83% reduction at 6-month follow-up.i In short, the people who are immunocompromised in this study fare better against severe COVID-19 if they receive Evusheld compared to those who do not. Additional safety and efficacy data continue to be published as more people receive the treatment.
While Evusheld was in short supply at initial release, the manufacturers have been able to catch up with the high demand and will likely have adequate supply for those needing treatment. This breakthrough medical discovery has provided hope to people who once believed that their lives would be forever in danger from COVID-19 infections. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine if you are eligible for this treatment in addition to COVID-19 vaccination.
The CDC offers a fact sheet to help patients and caregivers decide if EVUSHELD is right for them
Blog last updated: January 17, 2023