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05th Nov 2021

Pfizer makes Covid pill that cuts hospitalisations and deaths by 89%

Kieran Galpin


A huge step for Pfizer and the pandemic

Pfizer has said its revolutionary Covid-19 pill reduced hospitalisations and deaths in high-risk patients by 89 per cent.

In a statement released on November 5, the pharmaceutical company said it not taking any more new patients into its clinical trial “due to the overwhelming efficacy” of the drug in previous trials.

The company also announced it planned to submit its findings to the US regulatory authorities for emergency authorisation as soon as possible, reports Bloomberg.

Pfizer used 1,219 unvaccinated adults in their study and found that over five days of treatment, its drug dramatically reduced the rate of hospitalisation when it is started within either three or five days of symptom onset.

The drug, called Paxlovid, works in a similar way to HIV medication, where it binds to an enzyme called protease to prohibit the replication of the virus.

They found that just 0.8 per cent of people who started the treatment in the designated time frame ended up in the hospital, and no one died, while 7 per cent of people who got the placebo in that window were later hospitalised or died.

Though the study is yet to be published in a medical journal, Pfizer says it was highly significant.

Last month, Merck & Co. and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP submitted similar findings for their pill after a study showed it slashed the risk of severe symptoms and death by half.

This comes amid reports that vaccines will be mandated for NHS staff across the UK.

The Guardian reports that the 1.2 million full-time workers in the NHS will have to be vaccinated from April, with an announcement on the policy potentially due as soon as Thursday.

Read the full story here: Covid jabs to be made compulsory for NHS staff in England

Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, said on Monday that while most hospital bosses backed jabs being made compulsory for staff, more than 90 per cent feared it could exacerbate the understaffing that the health service is already experiencing.

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