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Calls grow for government to order Covid drug to boost protection for vulnerable

The UK must urgently procure stocks of a drug that can boost vulnerable people’s protection against Covid, experts have urged in a letter to The Times.

Evusheld, made by AstraZeneca, was licensed by the UK regulator the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in March.

Some people with immune system problems, such as blood cancer patients or organ transplant patients do not get sufficient protection from vaccinations and many are continuing to shield.

Campaigners believe that offering Evusheld to those people could allow them to resume normal life.

Evusheld is being used in countries including the United States and Israel but the UK government has yet to ask AstraZeneca for supplies.

In a letter published in The Times, Gemma Peters, chief executive of Blood Cancer UK, and Lord Mendelsohn, co-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vulnerable Groups to Pandemics, say that this represents a failure of a promise made at the start of the pandemic that the government would “do everything in its power to protect the vulnerable”.

They write: “People who are immunocompromised are still dying from Covid at much higher rates than the rest of the population. They cannot afford to wait. They deserve better.”

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: The Times, 6 July 2022


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