AstraZeneca’s new synthetic antibody drug AZD7442 is the first antibody combination (non-vaccine) shown to potentially provide long-lasting protection that has demonstrated prevention of COVID-19 as well as diminished severity of symptoms in Covid-19 infected individuals in a clinical trial.
AZD7442 is a combination of two long-acting antibodies synthetically generated in a lab. It reduced the risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19 by 77% compared to placebo. There were no cases of severe COVID-19 or COVID-19-related deaths in those treated with AZD7442. In the placebo arm, there were 3 cases of severe COVID-19, which included 2 deaths. There were just over 5000 participants and there were twice as many in the treatment arm. It is a relatively small trial. As a comparison, the vaccine trials were based on numerous studies with as many as 40,000 participants.
More than 75% of participants of the AZD7442 trial had co-morbidities, which include conditions that have been reported to cause a reduced immune response to vaccination. As far as side effects go, there were no differences between the drug and placebo groups.
The drug company reports that the drug provides protection for up to a year.
Developing treatments for infection, as well as possible therapeutics to decrease risks of getting or dying from the disease is important, but the obvious question to me is: why would someone want to rely on a new, expensive medication to prevent Covid, when the long-term side effects of that drug are not known? Sound familiar? Now the vaccine has also not been evaluated long term, but it has certainly been used for much longer than this new drug and has proven efficacy, safety and is free. Over 6 billion doses worth of data and information is available for the vaccines.
If you refuse to believe the science, counter every valid point with another issue, or think the government is demonic and that the Pope, who recommends vaccination, is in cahoots with the devil, all of which was expressed by a patient of mine this week, then no amount of discussion about vaccination is is worth wasting breath on (I still try every time). Even trying to appeal to the unselfish perspective of protecting their children, grandchildren or elderly relatives and friends was not enough to make a dent in their absolute refusal to get vaccinated. Just amazing.
At this stage, I am not planning to take any medications, other than vaccination, as a means of lowering my infection or complication risk. I just got my booster last week and feel great. I do take a few supplements, but none that I wasn’t already taking regularly before Covid as it is. As many of you know, I have an autoimmune form of diabetes and some cardiac issues so my supplement regimen is focused on managing those issues and bolstering my immune function.
Developing new medications to prevent and treat this, and all diseases, is important. But prevention is still the key, not only against Covid, but every single chronic disease plaguing mankind. All are preventable and almost all are reversible. Don’t just rely on a treatment once you have it.
DISTANCE and VENTILATE
Stay safe and be well.