Live Updates: Coronavirus Pandemic and Omicron Edition

The US Food and Drug Administration on Thursday authorized Merck’s antiviral pill, molnupirvir, to treat Covid-19.

This is the second COVID-19 antiviral pill authorized for sick people to take at home before they are sick enough to be admitted to hospital. Merck has an agreement with the US government to supply 3.1 million courses of mollupiravir upon this authorization for the company.

The pill is directly authorized for the treatment of mild to moderate coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in adults with positive results of a SARS-CoV-2 viral test, and who are at high risk for progression, an FDA news release said. Huh. Severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death, and for whom FDA-authorized alternative COVID-19 treatment options are not accessible or medically appropriate.”

Molnupiravir was recommended in a 13-10 vote by FDA advisors in late November after data showed it reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 30% in high-risk adults. This was lower than an earlier analysis which suggests that this number may be around 50%.

Dr. Eliav Barr, senior vice president of global medical affairs at Merck, told CNN this month that he was optimistic the treatment would work against the Omicron variant.

“The Omicron variant differs primarily from other types of COVID on the spike protein. Our drug works on a completely different part of the virus. So we are very optimistic that the drug will continue to be effective against Omicron, and we are currently on it.” are studying.”

Pfizer Pill: On Wednesday, the FDA Official Pfizer Antiviral Pill, paxlovid, to cure COVID-19, the first antiviral COVID-19 pill authorized in the US for sick people to take home before they are admitted to the hospital. High-risk individuals who are 12 years of age and older, who weigh at least 88 pounds and who have a SARS-CoV-2 test positive are eligible for this treatment and will need to have it prescribed by a doctor.

The pill “should be started as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19 and within five days of symptom onset,” according to a FDA statement,

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