Evusheld, antibody therapies will enhance health, safety of Canadians: Filomena Tassi

Astra Zeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Wikipedia

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Ottawa/CMEDIA: Today Filomena Tassi, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, announced a new conditional agreement with AstraZeneca for 100,000 doses of its antibody therapy, Evusheld, for the prevention (pre-exposure prophylaxis) of COVID-19, a news release reported today.

Committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians from COVID-19, the Government of Canada’s initiative includes securing safe and effective drugs as they become available.

Health Canada is reviewing the antibody therapy for use in specific high-risk patient populations, including immunocompromised people, and is currently prioritizing the review of all COVID-19 vaccines and drugs.

Subject to the regulatory approval of the therapy, initial deliveries would be expected to arrive in Canada within a month of authorization.

Following initial deliveries, the Public Health Agency of Canada would reportedly coordinate with provincial and territorial officials distribution and delivery schedules.

“Public health measures, vaccination, and therapeutics all play important roles in protecting public health and saving lives. The government continues to pursue a diverse portfolio of therapeutics to keep everyone safe, including people who are immunocompromised,” the news release said.

“Vaccination continues to be the most important tool we have against severe outcomes from COVID-19…immunocompromised may need additional protection against COVID-19….its suite of treatments and preventative therapies to protect the health of everyone who lives in Canada,” said Jean-Yves Duclos Federal Minister of Health in a press release.

Quick facts
  • Public Services and Procurement Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada are working together to purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and related supplies.
  • Health Canada started receiving information for the submission from AstraZeneca to authorize Evusheld on November 3, 2021. Health Canada reviews submissions through an independent process and authorizes products based on scientific rigour and medical evidence. 
  • Canada also previously secured access to courses of two oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19: Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s molnupiravir. Health Canada authorized Paxlovid on January 17, 2022, and the molnupiravir submission is under review.