Canada approves AstraZeneca Covid-19 prevention drug

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Ottawa– Canada has approved British drugmaker AstraZeneca’s drug for the prevention of Covid-19 in immune compromised adults and children.

In a statement, Health Canada on Thursday said the department has determined that the drug named “Evusheld” meets Health Canada’s stringent safety, efficacy and quality requirements.

The drug was approved for use in adults and children (12 years of age and older, weighing at least 40 kg) who are not currently infected with Covid-19 and have not had recent known contact with someone infected with Covid-19, and who are immune compromised and unlikely to mount an adequate immune response to Covid-19 vaccination, or for whom Covid-19 vaccination is not recommended, the statement added.

Based on laboratory studies, Evusheld is expected to retain neutralising activity against Omicron subvariant BA.2, which is now the dominant variant in many communities in Canada, Health Canada said, adding that no drug, including Evusheld, is a substitute for vaccination, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Vaccination remains the most important tool in preventing serious illness from Covid-19 infection,” Heath Canada said.

According to the statement, Evusheld is not currently authorised to treat Covid-19 infection, nor is it authorised to prevent infection in people who have been exposed to the virus. (IANS)

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