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UPMC Announces New Therapy for COVID Patients

UPMC doctors announced a new therapy to help protect some of the most vulnerable COVID-19 patients. Doctors said it’s protection they can’t get with the current vaccines.

Starting Thursday, UPMC hospitals are distributing doses of Astra Zeneca’s Evusheld, which is the first ever antibody for prevention of COVID-19 prior to an exposure that’s been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Erin McCreary for UPMC said that out patients that have compromised autoimmune systems do not respond as robustly from Covid-19 vaccination as other patients and while they should be absolutely vaccinated.

They also added that it is exciting for us to have an additional long-acting antibody medication that serves as an extra layer of protection for some of our most valuable patients. Dr. McCreary said those eligible for the new therapy have to be 12 years and older, weigh at least 88 pounds and have moderately or severely compromised immune systems.

The therapy is a combination of two different antibodies. There are two injections, one in each arm.Clinical trial data shows the antibodies last six months to a year and they are intended to be given before exposure to COVID-19 to help people from getting sick.There are two antiviral COVID-19 pills that received emergency use authorization last week. One was developed by Pfizer and the other by Merck. I asked Dr. McCreary when the pills will be available in our area.

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