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Canada approves AstraZeneca Covid-19 prevention drug

IANS | April 15, 2022 10:50 AM

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.

London, Sept. 10, 2020 (Xinhua) -- Photo taken on May 18, 2020 shows a logo in front of AstraZeneca's building in Luton, Britain. AstraZeneca, which is developing a possible vaccine against COVID-19 in partnership with the University of Oxford, on Wednesday put on hold the phase-3 trial of its vaccine following an unexplained illness in one trial participant in Britain. (Photo by Tim Ireland/Xinhua/IANS)

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