Drugmaker, AstraZeneca has received its first approval for registration in Australia, as the country’s medical regulatory body announced that the drug company’s antibody cocktail, EVUSHIELD, against COVID-19 has received the go-ahead for registration in the country.

Australia’s drug regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), last week granted provisional determination to the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker for its antibody cocktail, EVUSHELD, the first protective shot other than vaccines against COVID-19.

According to the regulator, the provisional determination is the first step in the process, after which drug company, AstraZeneca, will be expected to submit an application for provisional registration.

Although, the antibody cocktail is still under review in Europe and is pending emergency approval in the United States, the determination of the antibody-based therapy comes as Australia makes efforts to boost its vaccination rates, launching booster shots, amid easing curbs.

The AstraZeneca antibody cocktail has proven to save lives when given as treatment within a week of first symptoms and prevent severe diseases as well as proven to work as a preventative shot in the non-infected.

Apart from the AstraZeneca pill, other Covid-19 pills that have been produced but are awaiting necessary regulations include the Pfizer, Merck antiviral pill. However, Merck’s antiviral pill, monulpiravir, has been approved in the United Kingdom, which has become the first country in the world to approve a potentially game-changing COVID-19 antiviral pill jointly developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.

The Merck antiviral pill is the first oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19 to be approved, having been monitored closely since data last month revealed that it could halve the chances of dying or being hospitalised for those most at risk of developing severe COVID-19 when given early in the illness.