The MHRA have announced that they have given approval of a long acting antibody treatment called Evusheld for use in protecting people at risk from Covid-19.
At Kidney Care UK we welcome this news but we look forward to much more detail on actual procurements, availability, rollout and eligibility. We do not yet know when this treatment will actually be made available as the next step is for the government to decide exactly who gets it and how and when it will be delivered. This is urgent because on Friday 1 April, remaining Covid protections such as free access to lateral flow tests will be removed.
Kidney Care UK has been asking for some time for a plan to protect people who continue to be at risk from Covid - in our joint call for five tests to be passed before protections were eased we asked for preventative treatments. It is far better for people to gain the maximum protection possible from Covid and people who are immunosuppressed, such as those with kidney transplants, have a lower antibody response to vaccinations. About 500,000 people in the UK are immunocompromised and may benefit from this medicine for pre-exposure prophylaxis of Covid-19. Data from previous studies has shown that about 40% of patients have a weaker antibody response, including 11% making no response, after 2 vaccinations. This includes people with blood cancers, those taking immunosuppressive drugs after an organ transplant or for conditions including multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
This drug is not a replacement for vaccination, which we continue to encourage, but an additional tool.
The MHRA says that recipients should not be currently infected with or had recent known exposure to a person infected with the Covid-19 virus.
In a clinical trial in adults, Evusheld was found to reduce the risk of developing symptomatic Covid-19 by 77%, with protection from the virus continuing for at least six months following a single dose.
There is not yet enough data to know how effective Evusheld is against Omicron or the duration of its effect against this variant, and the MHRA will work with the company to establish this.
The treatment is two drugs, Tixagevimab co-packaged with cilgavimab, formerly known as AZD7442, which are a combination of two monoclonal antibodies given as two separate intramuscular injections, one after the other.
Please email us your questions and thoughts as we will be taking them to the teams responsible for rolling this out.
Coming soon: the Kidney Patient Reported Exp…
We need kidney care to always be improving. It's important that you have your say about your experiences.
Energy costs: kidney patients are unfairly i…
The huge rise in energy prices will disproportionately affect kidney patients. Kidney Care UK call on the Gov…