A Covid drug that has been designed to stop the risk of vulnerable patients needing hospital treatment is now available in NHS hospitals today.  

The drug sotrovimab is an antibody-based drug that is being given to transplant recipients, cancer patients, and other high-risk groups. 

It is designed to be given quickly after symptoms develop to help prevent people from falling seriously ill with the disease. 

Tests have also shown that it should work against the Omicron variant. 

The national medical director of NHS England, Professor Steven Powis, has said that if you're at high risk you will be contacted and "if eligible, you will be able to get access to these new treatments."

Up until now, most Covid treatments have been for patients already in hospitals, but now new drugs are being designed to target vulnerable patients at early stages of infection to stop the need for hospital treatment. 

Across the UK, around 1.3 million high-risk NHS patients will be eligible for the Sotrovimab drug. 

The drug is most effective within the first five days after infection as it hopes to avoid the need for hospital treatment.