Korea has begun the administration of COVID-19 antibody jab Evusheld. Including 15 patients who reserved the injections, the number of those eligible for the Evusheld shots will reach 10,000 in Korea, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Monday. Adults and adolescents aged 12 and older, weighing at least 40 kilograms with no record of COVID-19 infection within the last seven days, will be eligible for Evusheld. 210 designated medical institutions nationwide will consider patients’ health status to decide whether to give them a shot.
Evusheld, developed by British-Swedish pharmaceutical and biologics company AstraZeneca, is different from vaccines that help our body create antibodies. It injects already-made COVID-19 antibodies directly into the body. This is why Evusheld is mainly targeting blood cancer and organ transplant patients who do not easily generate antibodies following vaccination or who are on immunosuppression therapy.
Clinical trial results of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration showed that Evusheld can lower the risk of infection by 93 percent and that of disease progression or death by 50 percent. It shows the same effects to the variant BA.5.
Meanwhile, amid the sixth wave of the pandemic, the bed occupancy rate for patients with moderate symptoms, who have symptoms more severe than that of general patients but milder than that of critical cases, reached 67.3 percent on Sunday in the metropolitan area, a five-fold increase, or up 13.1 percent, compared to a month ago. An official from the health authorities said, “An increase in the number of patients with underlying conditions such as cancer, but whose COVID-19 symptoms are mild led to a higher occupancy rate of beds for moderate cases.”