Preventive antiviral injections introduced on the continent

A new drug to help prevent COVID-19 infections in people with weakened immune systems has arrived at the Boao International Medical Tourism Pilot Area in Hainan Province, the only dedicated area in the country that benefits from policies special preferential rights to import medical devices, technologies and drugs, local authorities said.

On Monday, Boao airport customs approved the entry of Evusheld injections, which have a total value of nearly 22 million yuan ($3.3 million), as special goods for the area. pilot.

Evusheld can provide long-lasting protection to a wide range of people with low immunity who are not fully protected by COVID-19 vaccines, as well as those at high risk of exposure to the virus.

Clinical research has shown that the protective effect of an injection of Evusheld lasts at least six months, according to biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

Developed and launched by AstraZeneca in March, the Evusheld injection combines tixagevimab and cilgavimab, and was shown to be effective in preventing and treating COVID-19 infection in phase III clinical trials, experts said .

Evusheld has been approved by the European Union for medical application in adults and adolescents aged 12 years and over and weighing at least 40 kilograms. It has also been cleared for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States, according to media reports.

“Evusheld injections were sent to the bonded warehouse in the pilot area for disinfection on Wednesday and will be provided to about 1,700 people,” said Wang Fang, head of the Ruijin-Hospital School of Medicine. Hainan Shanghai Jiao Tong University, who applied. for imports of injections.

“About 10 people have made an appointment for Evusheld injections after hearing the news of medical new arrivals from our official WeChat account. They will come to the pilot area hospital this weekend from cities outside from Hainan Island, such as Shanghai and Beijing, for health evaluation by pulmonologists before receiving the injections,” Wang said.

She added that the hospital will decide if it wants to request more imports after observing domestic responses.

Located on the east coast of Hainan, Boao Lecheng Pilot Area is a demonstration project for the country’s health care reform. It enjoys a set of preferential policies, such as special permission for the import of medical technology, medical equipment and medicine, under which foreign companies can set up medical organizations and foreign medicine can enjoy special treatment. a special import tariff.

So far, the pilot zone has introduced more than 200 innovative drugs and medical devices from overseas, providing timely assistance to Chinese patients, according to the pilot zone administration.

Provincial government officials said Hainan is making strenuous efforts to integrate medical consumption with tourism, with the healthcare sector designated as a priority industry in the Hainan Free Trade Port. China has released a master plan to transform the entire island of Hainan into a high-level free trade port of global influence by the middle of this century.