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UCSD to provide treatment to protect immunocompromised people from COVID

EvuSheld is an antibody cocktail for eligible patients in addition to vaccine.
Posted at 10:35 AM, Apr 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-09 13:35:14-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Randi Shanken and her husband have been extremely cautious during the pandemic. In the fall of 2020, she began treatment for her leukemia thus becoming immunocompromised.

Then the light at the end of the tunnel many of us, including Shanken, were waiting for the COVID-19 vaccine.

“When I got the shots, I was really excited because I thought I was going to be covered,” Shanken said.

But after she got her shots, she found out that wasn’t the case.

“I had found out that I had not any response to the vaccine at all. At that time, I knew that I needed to be basically as if I was unvaccinated and being very, very careful,” Shanken said.

Recently, Shanken became eligible for a treatment with emergency use authorization to protect immunocompromised people from COVID. It’s an antibody cocktail called EvuSheld at UCSD Health.

“And we are using it for moderately to severely immunocompromised patients who have gotten the vaccine but are not anticipated to get that full protection from the vaccine,” Dr. Shira Abeles, Oversees COVID Therapeutics at UCSD Health.

Abeles said EvuSheld will give a large dose of antibodies to these patients for several months.

This treatment is geared toward organ transplant and cancer patients and others who immunocompromised individuals.

“I knew that I was a perfect candidate. So, I lobbied with my oncologist to get the drug as soon as I possibly could,” Shanken said.

Shanken got her wish.

“I was ecstatic there was something that was finally going to be able to give me some normal life,” Shaken said.

The hope from UCSD Health and Shanken that those who are immunocompromised find out if they’re eligible for EvuSheld.

“It would be a miracle for them, and it would change their lives. It’s changed my life,” Shanken said.

UCSD Health does want to remind people that this treatment is not a replacement for the vaccine; it’s meant to be had in addition to the vaccine.