Jeff Bridges and AstraZeneca join forces to promote campaign against COVID-19
Although many people think that life is back to normal, the pandemic is still a serious concern for some patients.
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The global biopharmaceutical company recently announced the launch of its “Up The Antibodies” campaign, an initiative aimed at protecting the health of millions of immunosuppressed Americans, especially to give them the care they need to be able to go out into the world again and try to lead a normal life.
Led by renowned movie stars such as Jeff Bridges, Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, the AstraZeneca program will educate this targeted community on additional steps they need to take to protect themselves from contracting COVID-19, including a recent laboratory finding.
It is a long-acting monoclonal antibody that provides patients with an additional layer of protection against the coronavirus, a tool that seeks to offer those who are most exposed to the disease weapons to combat it and to avoid contracting it, especially when the organism is affected by other serious medical conditions.
“At AstraZeneca, we believe it is our special responsibility to support and empower the immunocompromised community, so we offer hope as the rest of the world strives to get back on track. It is through our partnership with academia, developers, researchers and government that we are able to discover coronavirus-neutralizing antibodies that can help protect the most vulnerable against COVID-19," said Liz Bodin, Vice Chair of the Department of Pulmonology and immunology from AstraZeneca.
According to a study shared by AstraZeneca, which was published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), among U.S. patients hospitalized for COVID-19, immunosuppressed adults had a disproportionately high percentage of hospitalizations (12.2%), compared to an estimated 2.7% of the U.S. adult population. These people also had higher odds of serious outcomes, regardless of their vaccination status.
Stars Behind “Up The Antibodies”
To launch the campaign, AstraZeneca presented a motivational video starring Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges, who recently spoke publicly about his fight, first against lymphoma, and then against COVID-19, to which he was exposed during the period when he was receiving chemotherapy for cancer treatment.
A lot of the world is trying to move forward and put COVID-19 behind us, but immunocompromised people can't do it yet. That's why this partnership with AstraZeneca and Up The Antibodies is incredibly personal to me.
But the renowned Hollywood star is not alone in this battle. Also joining was Academy Award-nominated actor, producer and writer Kumail Nanjiani, along with his wife, Academy Award-nominated writer and producer Emily V. Gordon.
“Surviving a coma caused by adult-onset Still's disease was terrifying. I don't want to go through something like this again. This is why, with the arrival of the COVID-19 epidemic, we both knew that we had to be more careful than ever. Our experiences are very similar to those of many immunosuppressed people and we are grateful for the opportunity to share our stories in order to educate others, so they can talk to their doctors and see what their options are,” stated the artist.
Gordon is an immunosuppressed patient, and the couple is known for speaking openly about their experience in relation to the pandemic, including by hosting a podcast in 2020 on "staying home." Together with her partner, they rose to fame with the release of their award-winning film, The Big Sick, which was largely based on their unique story as a pair of patient and caregiver, and today they continue to share with us how they approach life together.
Thanks to these amazing ambassadors, the campaign has gotten quite a bit of airplay and is now supported by promoters, influencers and other key stakeholders who shared what their reality is like today, including director Scott Cooper and music legend T Bone Burnette.
“While the option to boost my antibodies to protect myself from COVID-19 didn't exist when I was going through cancer treatment, it does now. I increased my antibodies as soon as I could do it. And now I feel more confident to get back to doing the things I love," underscore Bridges.
AstraZeneca is also collaborating with the Immune Deficiency Foundation to ensure that the campaign is developed in partnership with the immunocompromised patient community to meet the urgent and ever-changing needs of these patients.
In addition to additional material produced by the renowned artists, the campaign website also includes information about long-acting monoclonal antibodies and essential resources, including a discussion guide for patients and physicians.
“At the start of the pandemic I had panic attacks for the first time in my life because I was so worried about Emily and now even though we have learned to deal with it together it doesn't get any easier. Decisions are often made together, so it's important for everyone to know that there is an option to add an extra layer of protection to prevent COVID-19 in addition to vaccinations, booster shots, mask wearing, and social distancing,” stressed Nanjiani.