New antibody cocktail shot 'as good as Covid jabs’ at protecting people with weak immune systems

A SINGLE antibody treatment is as effective as vaccines at halting Covid, trial data reveals.

The jab, developed by AstraZeneca, works in patients with weakened immune systems who often fail to respond to vaccination.

An analysis of more than 5,000 volunteers found the antibody cocktail – known as AZD7442 – offered 83 per cent protection over six months.

None of the participants have been given a Covid vaccine.

The preventative treatment provides a real alternative to vulnerable adults, such as blood cancer patients or transplant recipients.

Experts estimate around two per cent of the population have a weakened immune system – around a million Brits adults.

A separate study found giving the drug to patients within three days of falling ill with Covid slashed their chances of symptoms worsening by 88 per cent.

The treatment is given in one go, as two separate shots in the arm.

AstraZeneca Executive Vice President Mene Pangalos said: “These new data add to the growing body of evidence supporting AZD7442's potential.

“We are progressing regulatory filings around the world and look forward to providing an important new option against SARS-CoV-2 as quickly as possible."

The results mean the treatment is more effective than double-vaccination at protecting against Covid illness over the long-term.

Immunity drops to between 67 and 74 per cent around five months after the second jab.

Prof Penny Ward, Visiting Professor in Pharmaceutical Medicine at Kings College, London, said: “This antibody cocktail is, uniquely, capable of offering long lasting protection from Covid to patients that are immunosuppressed and may not have responded effectively to vaccination.

“If may yet come to be considered an important adjunctive treatment for cancer patients and others needing immune suppressing therapy for other diseases.”

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