Britain regulator approves AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 preventative treatment Evusheld

The treatment is prohibited in people who have been infected with the COVID virus.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved the antibody-based COVID-19 preventative treatment produced by AstraZeneca. The independent scientific advisory body approved Evusheld for use in adults with an impaired immune response, the approval has marked a big step in the fight against the pandemic. The World Health Organization has warned that countries should remain cautious as COVID-19 cases rise globally. Although 85% of Britons aged 12 and above have been fully vaccinated, individuals that are immunocompromised or have a history of severe reactions to vaccines may need a different preventative option. June Raine, chief of MHRA stated, "While the COVID-19 vaccines continue to be the first-line defence against COVID-19, we know that some people may not respond adequately to these vaccines.”

While vaccines rely on an unimpaired immune system to produce antibodies and infection-fighting cells, Evusheld in contrast contains man-made antibodies which are designed to circulate in the body for months to restrain the virus in the case of an infection. In clinical trials the treatment was found to reduce the risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19 by 77%. MHRA stated that a single dose of Evusheld could provide protection for at least six months and has proven to avert disease progression and save lives when administered within a week of the first symptoms. The treatment is administered intra-muscularly and is prohibited in people infected with COVID-19 or have had a recent exposure. AstraZeneca stated that it hopes to have the treatment available in Britain “as quickly as possible.”