Pfizer pharmaceuticals Inc. has announced that its newly developed Covid antiviral drug called Paxlovid will only help fight coronavirus infection and reduce the risk of hospitalization.
The announcement revealed further that although vaccines are still the best defence against the virus, the antiviral drug can still help combat coronavirus infection if administered immediately symptoms appear.
The pill was clinically tested on 1,200 patients who had contacted coronavirus and were at high risk of developing into severe Covid-19. The patients were randomly selected and either given the pill or a placebo within three to five days of manifestation of symptoms.
The results showed that patients who took paxlovid were less likely to be hospitalized than patients who received the placebo pills. No patient given the antiviral pill died but 10 out of those who received the placebo died.
Pfizer’s CEO, Albert Bourla said in a statement that the newly developed drug is a game changer in the global effort to halt the devastation caused by the pandemic.
Pfizer’s announcement makes the drug the second antiviral pill to show promising results in clinical trials after Merck announced a similar product recently which is still awaiting authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).