Vaccinations are a great way to prevent people from contracting and falling seriously ill from COVID-19, but as you know, not everyone will get jabbed.
Some have allergies to the vaccines, while others are hesitant to get them due to other concerns.
Since unvaccinated COVID-19 patients are more likely to exhibit more severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, we still need to rely on treatments whose efficacy is still being studied.
Now, however, there may be a pill out there that could be as effective as a vaccine.
Pfizer Says Its COVID-19 Antiviral Pill Could Cut Serious Illnesses By Up to 89%
An antiviral pill developed by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has been shown to cut the risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19 by 89%, the company said.
Pfizer conducted a trial with 1,219 patients and found that 0.8% of those given Pfizer’s drug within three days of exhibiting symptoms were hospitalised. What’s more, none had died 28 days after treatment.
On the other hand, there was a hospitalisation rate of 7% for placebo patients and seven deaths in the placebo group.
As for patients treated within five days of symptoms, 1% of the treatment group was hospitalised, compared with 6.7% for the placebo group. There were also 10 deaths among placebo patients.
Pfizer stopped its trial for the pill early after the high efficacy rate was discovered.
Paxlovid – which is the name given to the combination of Pfizer’s pill and an older antiviral called ritonavir – is given twice a day, three pills each time.
Antivirals work best when they’re given early, before an infection spreads throughout the body.
While the company provided no specifics about side effects, they said 20% of both treatment and placebo patients had “adverse events”.
If approved by the authorities, Pfizer believes that this new treatment could save lives and eliminate up to nine out of 10 hospitalisations.
S’pore & Merck’s Sign Deal For COVID-19 Antiviral Pill
Just last month, the Singapore government inked a deal with Merck, an American multinational pharmaceutical company, for its COVID-19 antiviral pill molnupiravir.
Merck’s interim trials showed that the drug cut the risk of hospitalisation and death for patients at risk of severe disease by 50%.
The interim analysis suggests that this drug, too, is most effective when administered in the earlier stages of infection.
It was originally developed to treat influenza, but has since been repurposed to see if it can treat COVID-19, like many drugs during the pandemic.
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