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ImmUnity Canada COVID-19 Update – January 19, 2023

January 19, 2023

ImmUnity Canada has received many inquiries about COVID-19, most of which relate to patient medical care, provincial guidelines, or vaccine access. For specific medical inquiries, please contact your healthcare provider or treating specialist. 

COVID-19 Events:

UPCOMING: National Conference – Ottawa, April 14-16 (virtual option available)

COVID-19: the Patient Experience, part 2” and “Long COVIDlearn more and register today.

If you attended our Virtual Conference in September 2022, you will have access to two special COVID-19 sessions: “The Patient Experience” and “Research in Canada; what have we learned.” 

Immunity Canada has hosted several webinars about PI & COVID-19, our “Ask the Experts” sessions and “COVID Vaccines and PI”. You can watch them all on our YouTube channel

COVID-19 Vaccine:

There are many companies that are producing vaccines for COVID-19. At the moment, there are four different vaccines available in Canada. To learn more about the different vaccines, please watch our COVID-19 Vaccine Webinar.

Treatments:

There are a few treatment options available in Canada for primary immunodeficiency patients.

Tixagevimab and Cilgavimab (Evusheld)

What is it? Two neutralizing monoclonal antibodies that attach to distinct sites on the spike protein receptor binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, preventing viral entry into cells. They are administered as two intramuscular injections that together may help prevent COVID-19 infection and illness.

When is it used? Depending on the province, Evusheld is being prescribed for PI patients for either prophylaxis or treatment of acute mild to moderate COVID in patients who do not have a history of cardiac events/disease.

Ritonavir and Nirmatrelvir (Paxlovid)

What is it? Two antivirals co packaged together that stops the virus from multiplying. This can help your body to overcome the virus infection and may help you get better faster.

When is it used? is used in adults to treat mild to moderate coronavirus disease who are at risk for severe disease. Paxlovid needs to be taken within the first 5 days of onset of symptoms in order to be effective. 

COVID-19 in Canada:

Cases of COVID-19 in provinces and across Canada vary by province, with some provinces beginning re-opening phases and other provinces re-opening in certain areas only. Please continue to check your regional public health for area-specific information. 

With current variants having the highest infectious rate and building resistance to Evusheld, ImmUnity Canada’s medical advisors are currently recommending:

  • Mask-wearing when possible
  • Encourage social distancing and raise awareness of PI – explain to others why you are self-isolating
  • Encourage your family, friends and networks to donate blood and plasma if they can
  • Help minimize workload at the hospital by arriving for your appointments on time
  • Wash your hands and avoid touching your face

Testing:

If you feel ill or think you may have the virus:

  • Do NOT go to the hospital or walk-in clinic (unless instructed to by your doctor OR you cannot manage your symptoms at home)
  • Self-isolate and call your doctor 
  • Use inhalers (if prescribed) and medications to manage symptoms

Plasma Supply:

Currently, there are no plasma or plasma product shortages in Canada. However, some plasma collection companies have notified CIPO of a drop in plasma collections due to COVID-19. We do not know at this point if this will have an impact on plasma products in 10-18 months.

Antibodies:

Recent data shows that SARS-COV2 antibodies are now appearing in plasma protein products, like immunoglobulin replacement therapy (IG). People using IG products can expect some passive immunity through the use of their products.

To learn more about antibodies and PI patients, listen to our “Ask the Experts 2” podcast (insert link)

Updates:

ImmUnity Canada will continue to update on this virus as necessary. 

For more information, please see the following:

COVID-19 map – https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

Canadian Blood Services 

WHO https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Public Health Agency of Canada https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

Government of Canada: www.canada.ca/coronavirus

We’re sick and tired, but we’re not alone.

ImmUnity Canada is a national charity with five provincial chapters across the country.

We empower Canadians impacted by immunodeficiency disorders to live well through education, support, advocacy, community-building, and research.

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