Aussies to treat Covid with a new Pfizer PILL beginning this weekend – here’s how it’s going to work and WHO is eligible
A new Pfizer pill designed to treat high-risk Covid sufferers is set to hit Australia and will be available in chemists in just days.
The oral take-home Paxlovid tablets will target symptoms in people with risk factors such as diabetes, obesity and others more at risk of hospitalisation.
Pharmaceutical physician Dr Krishan Thiru told the Today Show on Friday it fills a gap in the market for a specific drug that targets the dreaded disease.
‘The problem was you couldn’t get anything that really helped apart from Paracetamol and just the basic things that make you feel good with a cold,’ he said.
It is not a vaccine to prevent COVID but a treatment for people who have recently been diagnosed.
Dr Thiru said the drug works by stymying an enzyme that helps the virus to replicate.
‘It means the virus can’t multiply inside your body and so your body’s own immune defences are able to combat the virus and reduce the chance in certain patients, people who are at high risk of complications, reduce the chance of those complications,’ he said.
These include some aged over 65 with risk factors, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 50 with risk factors or others who are immuno compromised.
‘It is designed for people who otherwise might be at risk of requiring hospitalisation or not surviving.’
Dr Thiru said a similar drug available for general use
We are continuing to investigate treatments and antivirals in other populations as well but at the moment we have several thousand people in hospital and dozens are dying every day and they are the high risk patients and that’s what Paxlovid is for.