TAMPA (WFLA) – Tampa General Hospital is the first health care facility in Hillsborough County to begin administering EVUSHELD to specific immunocompromised patients.
Evusheld can be used by people ages 12 and older who are moderately to severely immunocompromised including cancer, transplant recipients, patients with primary immunodeficiencies who may not get adequate immune responses from a Covid vaccine.
“It’s definitely a game-changer for that population for sure because this is a group that really hasn’t had an impact from the vaccine, even the booster. Many people haven’t had an effective impact,” Dr. Peggy Duggan, TGH Chief Medical Officer said.
The therapy is also an option for people who have histories of severe adverse reactions to a Covid vaccine or its components. The one-time dose includes a combination of two monoclonal antibodies, preventing covid infection which lasts for 120 days, and maybe even longer.
Currently, only a limited supply of the treatment is available.
Gov. DeSantis recently spoke about the treatment last month stating the Evusheld treatment was potentially better for people who may not be able to vaccinate or had other health concerns, where the vaccine was not recommended and where other treatments were needed instead.
“Initially, we have a very limited allocation, it’s about 3,100 doses,” DeSantis said. “This initial allocation is going to go to hospitals and clinics that are already administering monoclonal antibody treatment to patients… And the way we tried to allocate it was to say ‘can we get it within a two-hour drive of everyone in Florida.’”
Studies show that those who receive the injection are up to 30 percent less likely to get covid. The treatment is not for post-exposure COVID treatment.
“As a doctor, I say all the time, preventing a disease is the best thing we can do, right? So, it’s really preventing a problem as well. It can give those patients confidence to see their friends and family again, be in the community more comfortably,” Duggan said.
Duggan advises people who are interested in receiving the injection to speak with their treating physician.