Hello. My name is Alfredo Meno Lora. I'm an infectious disease specialist and I work at Saint Anthony Hospital in Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Monoclonal antibodies are very interesting therapeutics because we can create monoclonal antibodies, which are basically photocopies of antibodies against a specific target. And for COVID, our specific target, similar to vaccines, is the spike protein. So, what you get are antibodies ready-made that will attack the spike protein of the coronavirus.
What makes Evusheld different and interesting is that it's a long acting version of this medication and therefore people can receive the medication and it remains in their body for a prolonged period of time. And when they get exposed to COVID 19, they will have the defenses ready to protect them against the disease.
So, it is a prophylactic drug rather than a therapeutic drug. It is meant to prevent the disease rather than treat the disease.
Evusheld is recommended for folks who can't take the vaccine. And this could be for a variety of reasons, including adverse events or allergies or contraindications to the vaccines. The reality is that those indications are relatively rare and Evusheld is mostly used for individuals who have immuno-compromising conditions that despite the vaccine, are unable to have the full response from it.
Evusheld is available not just for adults but for children above the age of 12 who weigh over 40 kilograms.
There are no major contraindications for Evusheld. In general, what you should look out for is if you have any history of allergies to make sure that none of the components of Evusheld are something that you are allergic to.
Patients should wait about approximately two weeks after getting their COVID vaccine in order to get every shot. And this is true for boosters and for your initial doses of the vaccine as well. And the concept here is similar to actively having COVID 19 or being exposed to somebody with COVID-19 recently. You want to make sure that you use Evusheld when you're going to get the maximum benefit from it.
I think the importance of a tool like Evusheld cannot be understated. Vaccines are the most important choice, but in individuals where the vaccines can't go as far as the general population, Evusheld is an extremely important and the best tool in the toolbox to keep you healthy and safe in addition to vaccines, if you can take them.