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Latest Report: Anti-Viral Pill By Pfizer Shows Promising Results

Since the onset of Omicron US has been seeing a rise in the number of cases. In the latest report from Pfizer, they stated that their Anti-viral pill has good success rate and can cut back hospitalization and death rate by 90%. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla stated that if this antiviral pill is accepted by FDA (Food and Drug Administration) then countless lives can be saved. 

Anti-Viral Pill By Pfizer Shows Promising Results

He also added that many of the newer variants like Omicron can also be tackled by Paxlovid – antiviral pill and the team is confident that the pill can also help in stopping the pandemic.

Anti-Viral Pill By Pfizer Shows Promising Results

Currently, FDA is looking into two antiviral pills one from Merck and now from Pfizer as well. The results about the approval of these pills are expected by the end of the year or in the early weeks of 2022.

This could be a life-changing situation as Omicron has already made its way to the US affecting more than 30 states. Omicron has a high number of mutations that are prone to evade the current monoclonal antibodies which the doctors are using to treat the patients. 

Amidst the Omicron spread, it has been published in a preprint study that the new variant could easily escape the antibody cocktails from AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, and Regeneron as well which were earlier given the green light for monoclonal antibodies. These were used in people who have weak immune systems or whose natural antibodies are not able to fight off the virus even after vaccination. 

In a second study related to the antiviral pill – Paxlovid, Pfizer stated that it worked miracles on people who had low symptoms due to the virus. People who took the pill had no risk of hospitalization or death if they had minor symptoms.

However, both the antiviral pills from Pfizer and Merck have their own issues as well. The Molnupiravir antiviral pill developed by Merck has the potential to make the virus mutate with the body which could be much worse. Another important aspect of this pill is that it cannot be taken during pregnancy and even after 3 months of delivering a baby. This reduces the scope of the pill and the FDA is looking into this as well while giving acceptance to the general population.

Similarly, Paxlovid has ritonavir in it which can get mixed with other medicines which people are taking for their underlying disease. Hence this antiviral pill cannot be prescribed to anyone directly and the attending physician has to check the patient’s history before prescribing this pill. 

FDA will now be looking into the data which has been collected during the clinical trials and if the success rate is good and side effects are manageable then there could be a green light on the antiviral pills in the coming weeks. However, for the current scenario booster doses are being encouraged by the government as a measure against Omicron. It has been found that Omicron lowers the vaccine efficacy by 25 times and thus a booster shot is needed which boosts the immunity by 25 times. 

The UK is seeing a large spread of Omicron and it has been found that out of all the cases in the UK, 20% are due to Omicron. The UK also recorded the first death due to Omicron and health care authorities have informed that Omicron would be the dominant variant in the coming weeks. People have been asked to get their booster shots if they are eligible. Masks have been made mandatory for all public spaces along with social distancing which is to be strictly followed under any case.

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