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AstraZeneca given FDA approval for Evusheld

Evusheld, packaged with cilgavimab and administered together, is used for the prevention of COVID-19 in certain adults and pediatric individuals.

The Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency use authorization for AstraZeneca’s Evusheld (tixagevimab co-packaged with cilgavimab and administered together) for the pre-exposure prophylaxis, or prevention, of COVID-19 in certain adults and pediatric individuals aged 12 years old and older weighing at least 40 kilograms, or 88-lb.

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The product is only authorized for those individuals who are not currently infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and who have not recently been exposed to an individual infected with SARS-CoV-2. The authorization also requires that individuals either have:

  • Moderate to severely compromised immune systems due to a medical condition or due to taking immunosuppressive medications or treatments and may not mount an adequate immune response to COVID-19 vaccination (examples of such medical conditions or treatments can be found in the fact sheet for health care providers) or;
  • a history of severe adverse reactions to a COVID-19 vaccine and/or component(s) of those vaccines, therefore vaccination with an available COVID-19 vaccine, according to the approved or authorized schedule, is not recommended.

“Vaccines have proven to be the best defense available against COVID-19. However, there are certain immune compromised individuals who may not mount an adequate immune response to COVID-19 vaccination, or those who have a history of severe adverse reactions to a COVID-19 vaccine and therefore cannot receive one and need an alternative prevention option,” said Patrizia Cavazzoni,  director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Today’s action authorizes the use of the combination of two monoclonal antibodies to reduce the risk of developing COVID-19 in these individuals.”

[Read more: FDA, CDC advisers approve Moderna, Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots for all adults

The FDA noted that one dose of Evusheld, administered as two separate consecutive intramuscular injections (one injection per monoclonal antibody, given in immediate succession), may be effective for pre-exposure prevention for six months. Evusheld is not authorized for individuals for the treatment of COVID-19 or for the post-exposure prevention of COVID-19. Patients should talk with their healthcare provider to determine whether Evusheld is an appropriate pre-exposure prevention option for them.

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