Pfizer antiviral pill to ease COVID-19 symptoms

Coronavirus Local Impact

(WWLP) – Pfizer has joined the race for an easy to use medication to treat coronavirus, however local health experts say it should not replace vaccination.

According to Pfizer’s most recent clinical trials, their experimental anti-viral pill cuts hospital and death risk from the virus by 90 percent. Currently, most COVID treatments require an IV or injection.

Competitor Mercks’ COVID-19 pill is already under review by the FDA after it was approved in the U.K. Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill is said to promote a speedy recovery and prevent severe illness.

22News spoke with Dr. Armando Paez, Chief of Baystate Medical Center’s Infectious Disease Division, who explained, “If for some reason you got infected and you have risk factors for severe outcome, then this drug may be very useful to prevent you from getting very sick or dying from the infection.”

Dr. Paez pointed out the groups studied in Pfizer’s clinical trials had at least one risk factor for severe illness. He also said vaccination is still your best bet to protect yourself against infection in the first place.

Once Pfizer sends in their application, the FDA could make a decision in a matter of weeks. Pfizer is confident with their data, and would like to begin rolling out their COVID pill by the end of the year.

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