If you are a visitor to the CLL Society website or attend any of our 38 support groups or our COVID-19 webinars, you should know about our COVID ACTION PLAN. If you haven’t already, please download and complete it now. It could save your life.
There you will find references to Pre- Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) with the long-acting antibodies tixagevimab co-packaged with cilgavimab or Evusheld.
Evusheld provides similar protection for the immunocompromised, such as those with CLL/SLL whose response to vaccinations is not predictable, as the vaccines do for those with normal immunity.
CLL Society has been working publicly and behind the scenes to get the word out and increase access.
So, shouldn’t all the 2.7% of Americans, the seven to nine million immunocompromised patients, want it?
Well, there are two issues:
- Millions of patients and their doctors don’t know about it.
- Distribution has been haphazard, and while thousands of doses are going unused, savvy and anxious vulnerable patients are having difficulty finding it in some locales.
Our own Dr. Koffman is quoted in his local paper, the LA Times, in this article: This Treatment Can Protect Vulnerable People From COVID. But Many Don’t Know About It.
He points out how to improve the situation:
“Dr. Brian Koffman, a retired family physician and co-founder of the CLL Society that serves patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, said that there should have been broad and proactive efforts to inform people that “this is how you get it. This is what to expect,” similar to the public education around COVID vaccines. Instead, “it was an afterthought.”
That lack of information has been compounded, he said, by a “haphazard” system in which different institutions have set different criteria for who is first in line for the treatment.
“You shouldn’t have to have a doctoral degree to get this stuff,” Koffman said.”
With your support and in alliance with other charities, CLL Society will do what it can to right the ship and ensure protection to all those with chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma.
With restrictions lifted and masks dropping like flies, getting both the message across and the protection with Evusheld more accessible will open the world for us as the COVID-19 vaccines did for others.