Immunocompromised? You may be eligible for this medication to help protect from COVID illness

If you or someone you know is at higher risk from COVID-19 because of a compromised immune system, pre-exposure prophylaxis (also called PrEP, available as the product Evusheld) can help to protect from severe disease.

When taken before infection or exposure, Evusheld helps your body fight the coronavirus and avoid getting really sick or needing to visit the hospital.

Talk to your healthcare provider to see if you are eligible for Evusheld. The medication is available only for people who have moderate to severely compromised immune systems because of a medical condition or certain medications or treatments, and for those with a risk of severe adverse reactions to a COVID-19 vaccine.

Many conditions and treatments can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including immunosuppressive medications for cancer or autoimmune disease, solid organ or bone marrow transplants, and infections like HIV. Someone who is immunocompromised is less able to fight infections and diseases like COVID-19.

Evusheld itself is provided free of charge, but there may be a small fee or copay for your office visit—talk to your provider for details before your appointment. Evusheld is a combination of two long-acting monoclonal antibodies called tixagevimab and cilgavimab, and is given as two consecutive injections into the muscle. Follow-up doses may be needed every 3-6 months based on your health situation.

If you are eligible for Evusheld, it is important to get protected early. People recently exposed to or currently infected with the coronavirus cannot receive the medication, but they may have other treatment options.

Continue layered protection from COVID-19

While COVID-19 therapeutics can help protect many people from severe illness, they are not a replacement for the COVID-19 vaccine. It is very important for all of us – and especially those with compromised immune systems – to continue using layered prevention measures.

Effective COVID-19 prevention measures include staying up to date with vaccinations (including an extra primary series dose and boosters when eligible), wearing high-quality masks (like N95, KN95, KF94), avoiding crowded indoor settings, improving ventilation and air quality, social distancing, and testing after exposure or if you have symptoms.

Resources for patients

If you do not currently have health insurance, you may be able to receive Evusheld free of charge from Birds Eye Medical—check their website for more details. You can also find a list of resources for uninsured individuals on the Washington State Department of Health’s COVID-19 therapeutics page, along with the latest updates on COVID treatment options.

The Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) can help people with disabilities access services. Call 1-888-677-1199, Monday-Friday from 6 am to 5 pm, or email DIAL@usaginganddisability.org. Interpretation is available. 

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Resources for healthcare providers

For more information about PrEP and Evusheld, healthcare providers can refer to King County’s April 13 Health Advisory: Immunocompromised patients and COVID-19: Pre-exposure prophylaxis, testing, and treatment resources for King County healthcare providers. The advisory includes links to therapeutics information for providers and COVID-19 treatment guidelines.

Healthcare providers that do not have capacity to administer Evusheld can submit referral orders to Birds Eye Medical, a company contracted by the Washington State Department of Health for free monoclonal antibody assistance. Fax a copy of this form to (360) 878-8330, or refer patients directly to the Birds Eye Medical website or by calling (360) 688-7044. Birds Eye Medical will work with patients to schedule an Evusheld telehealth evaluation appointment and make an appointment with a nearby clinic offering Evusheld.