SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – New research shows Pfizer’s antiviral COVID-19 pill holds strong against hospitalization and death but there are mixed feelings on if that would encourage more people to get vaccinated.
In the final analysis of its Phase 2 clinical trial, the antiviral, called Paxlovid, was found to be 89 percent effective at preventing high-risk people from being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19; recent lab data also suggests the drug retains its effectiveness against the fast-spreading Omicron variant.
If approved, the drug would be the first oral antiviral treatment of its kind. A nurse at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, who was getting her booster shot at a clinic in Springfield, said she thinks more people would be willing to take a pill rather than getting a shot in the arm.
Alexis Kumar told 22News, “I had some patients who didn’t get the shot because they hated needles and they didn’t want to go through that so I think that’s a good thing if that’s an option.”
The United States is planning to buy ten million doses of Pfizer’s new COVID-19 treatment pill, if it’s approved by regulators. A nurse at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston is seeing COVID case numbers go up at the hospital. However, he stated it doesn’t matter what form the vaccine is presented in, some will just not get it.
“I’ve been reading a lot about people who don’t want the vaccine and it’s more it seems to be religious based and politically based and I’ll be frank, I think it’s insane,” said Ansel Zantel of Springfield.
The FDA has not scheduled a meeting of its advisory committee to review the application.