COVID19 prevention has been a tough nut to crack especially in the Immunocompromised. On one hand, the COVID19 vaccines fell short in patients with moderate to severe weakening of immunity. This included kidney patients with advanced pre-dialysis state, those on dialysis and post-transplant. On the other, in certain kidney patient cohorts who did develop traceable immune response to the vaccines ended up with a flaring of pre-existing underlying autoimmune kidney diseases like IgA Nephropathy.
Then we have Evusheld ® – drug maker AstraZeneca’s new long acting monoclonal antibody combo shot. This antibody drug (generic name: AZD7442) was granted an Emergency Use Authorization by the USFDA on December 8th, 2021. With its “ready-made immune protection”, this long acting antibody (LAAB) drug shows promise in preventing symptomatic COVID19 in immunocompromised patients (just like vaccines do in immunocompetent). However, only time will tell how well it performs on-field. Read more here.
But then, amidst this steady inflow of pharmacological strategies to ward-off COVID19, if something has managed to survive it’s the utility of the humble face mask. Of-course, other COVID safe practices like following strict hygiene protocols and avoiding crowds go hand-in-hand.
So what works the best?
Here’s presenting a comprehensive comparative analysis between COVID19 vaccines, Evusheld ® and “Mask + Hygiene protocols”:
The primary goal of preventive pharmacological tools against COVID19 namely Vaccines and Long Acting (monoclonal) Antibodies like Evusheld ® for Immunocompromised is to ensure self-protection from severe disease and death from the virus.
Just like vaccines, these LAABs may not completely prevent viral transmission.
Also, like vaccines, LAABs will need regular “upgrades”. This is to enable them to be effective against all circulating COVID19 mutant strains of concern, as and when these surface. This is similar to how annual flu shots get an upgrade every year to cover for new flu virus strains.
Therefore, irrespective of whether you:
- Have received your vaccine primary dose(s)
- Got an extra primary or a booster dose
- Received Evusheld ® shot as a volunteer in its clinical trial (PROVENT Trial by AstraZeneca®)
- Have been partially vaccinated due to availability issues or waiting for the next dose
- Are unvaccinated due to a pre-existing medical condition like IgA Nephropathy that is likely to flare-up post vaccination
- Are unvaccinated due to allergy to any of the vaccine ingredient(s)
always stick to wearing a proper (preferably N95) face mask covering your nose and mouth in public. This is to effectively block any potential exposure to the virus and diminish viral transmission among your contacts. Goes without saying, a strict hygiene protocol and avoiding crowds (indoors and outdoors) are a must add.
Most importantly, stay vigilant but do not panic. Don’t be lax either.
In a nutshell, always combine an effective self-protection measure as per your immune status with ways to prevent viral transmission.
Unless the above measures are rigorously adopted, complete protection from the COVID19 will remain elusive, especially for the Immunocompromised. And that is something, none of us will want, right?
Countering stay masked up, sensible, logical, vigilant, responsible, aware and above all, safe all of you! 🙂
Our gratitude for your continued interest in All Things Kidney Official.