PEI

P.E.I. to get 100 doses of COVID-19 prevention drug Evusheld

A newly approved treatment which could prevent people with weakened immune systems from getting COVID-19 will soon be available in P.E.I.

Dr. Heather Morrison says drug only meant for use for immunocompromised individuals

AstraZeneca's Evusheld is a newly approved drug designed to prevent COVID-19. (Associated Press/Ted Warren)

A newly approved treatment which could prevent people with weakened immune systems from getting COVID-19 will soon be available in P.E.I.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said told CBC News: Compass on Wednesday the province will get 100 doses of the antibody therapy Evusheld.

"It's for people who are ... severely immunocompromised. But it can be used as another tool in the fight against COVID-19," Morrison said.

"It is intended for limited use in very specific, high-risk populations."

The drug, which was developed by AstraZeneca, is administered in two shots. Last month, Health Canada authorized its use for people who:

  • Are 12 or older and weigh more than 40 kilograms.
  • Are immunocompromised or for whom vaccination is not recommended.
  • Are not currently infected with or have not been exposed to COVID-19.

Morrison said the province is currently figuring out how to best distribute the 100 doses, which were allotted based on the province's population.

Paxlovid access

Morrison also said that as of  April 30, the province had prescribed 1,445 people with the COVID-19 pill Paxlovid.

The five-day oral treatment is currently available for people who are classified as high risk.

Morrison said the province has a "fairly robust system" to ensure those who may benefit from the treatment are prescribed it.

"In terms of broader access, more prescribers are going to be able to talk to their patients and prescribe it. And that again is a process that is expanding now among physicians and nurse practitioners," she said.

Only three people who had taken Paxlovid have been admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 so far, Morrison said. 

She said all three individuals only had started the treatment.

With files from CBC News: Compass

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