Greece has officially launched an online platform taking applications for the Evusheld drug that helps prevent COVID-19 in people who are at risk.
According to Greece’s Health Ministry, the monoclonal antibody medicine developed by AstraZeneca, which has been approved by the European Medicines Agency is now available at hospitals.
The medicine is approved for adults and adolescents from twelve years of age, weighing at least forty kilograms, who have compromised immune systems and are also at risk of side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine.
They also need to be completely clear of the SARS-CoV-2 virus without having been infected in at least three months.
The application for the two-injection dose of Evusheld needs to be submitted by the patient’s doctor, along with evidence supporting why they need the medicine instead of a vaccine.
COVID-19 drug, Evusheld
Evusheld’s effectiveness has been clearly demonstrated, and it stands up to all versions of the omicron variant.
Most of all, the prophylactic power of the injected antibody is tailor-made for a large and underserved patient population—the immunocompromised who can’t get adequate protection from vaccines.
In the US, where the therapy was authorized for emergency use in December of last year, AstraZeneca sold $556 million of Evusheld in the first six months of the year.
Anticipating the need for Evusheld, the US has agreed to purchase 1.7 million doses at a cost of $855 million.
Greece is hit by the COVID-19 BA.5 subvariant
Greece is currently hit by the spread of the most contagious wave of COVID-19. The BA.5 subvariant of the Omicron strand is transmitted rapidly and has strong symptoms. Even though fully vaccinated, one can experience serious symptoms, including being put on ventilators.
“We are worried by the reinfections that some patients are experiencing as they modify our defense systems against other viruses,” Professor of Pulmonology and Vice President of the Hellenic Respiratory Society Nikos Tzanakis said recently.
Tzanakis predicted that the current wave would peak in Greece in late July to early August and de-escalate very slowly.
According to the latest figures released by the National Organization for Public Health (EODY) last week, Greece recorded 136,077 new cases of COVID-19 and 271 virus-related deaths during the week of July 18th to July 24th. Of these, nineteen percent were identified as reinfections.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Greece since the start of the pandemic rose to 4,349,423 with a total of 30,999 deaths over the same period.