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In December 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued emergency use authorization (EUA) for a new anti-COVID-19 medication, the AstraZeneca product called Evusheld™.
This monoclonal antibody was designed to prevent COVID-19 infection in vulnerable and immunocompromised individuals who may not mount an adequate immune response to COVID-19 vaccination.
As of January 2023, Evusheld is no longer authorized for use by the FDA and may not be administered in the U.S. UPMC has ceased administering this medication accordingly.
Evusheld is no longer effective against the most COVID-19 variants circulating in the community.
The EUA allowed Evusheld to be given as pre-exposure prophylaxis for individuals age 12 and older who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, or for whom vaccination is not recommended due to a history of severe allergic reactions to vaccines. It was not intended as a substitute for vaccination. Evusheld is given as an injection into the muscle.
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What Is Evusheld?
Evusheld, made by AstraZeneca, is a combination of tixagevimab and cilgavimab. It was a type of medicine called a monoclonal antibody, which is offered to some immunocompromised patients to prevent serious illness from COVID-19.
The COVID-19 virus changes over time. The FDA revoked its authorization of Evusheld because it is no longer effective against most current COVID-19 variants. Because it is no longer authorized, health care providers in the U.S., including UPMC, can no longer offer Evusheld to patients.
The company that makes Evusheld is creating an updated version of the medication that may work better against current and future COVID-19 variants. This updated medicine is in early testing. It is unclear when it will be available for patients.
Who Is Eligible For Evusheld?
Patients can no longer receive Evusheld in the United States.
Prior to January 2023, certain people with specific illnesses and medical situations were eligible to receive Evusheld. People who are immunocompromised may be eligible for other types of COVID-19 treatments.
How Can I Receive Evusheld?
The FDA has revoked its authorization of this medication, and it cannot be administered in the United States.
If you have questions or concerns about COVID-19, contact your provider. For now, it’s is important to continue following infection prevention measures such as:
- Wearing a mask
- Staying home if you are ill
- Washing your hands frequently
- Covering your coughs and sneezes
If you become sick, get tested for COVID-19. If you test positive, talk to your provider as soon as possible to see if you are eligible for certain treatments, including Paxlovid, which is a pill, or remdesivir, an injection that can treat COVID-19 infections.
If you have a weakened immune system, remind your provider that you are at high risk for severe COVID-19 infection.
Editor's Note: This video was originally published on , and was last reviewed on .
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