COVID: Pfizer's antiviral pills to be made available for people over 50’s from this week

As the UK plans to move forward with their ‘living with covid’ plans, Pfizer’s antiviral covid-busting pill is made available for a broader range of people.

As mild as the infections may be, the end of Covid-19 is nowhere in sight. Increased rates of illness and hospitalisation add further worries to the pandemic. As such, the UK health ministry has decided to make Pfizer’s antiviral treatment drug Paxlovid available for a more extensive set of people.

Need of the hour

Paxlovid is the first antiviral Covid-19 pill to be approved by the FDA, and it's supposed to be used at home before being admitted to the hospital. It has proven to reduce the risk of hospital admission by 88 per cent in the trial conducted by Pfizer. The covid-busting pill was given to 32,000 high-risk patients and it had tremendously helped them in keeping out of hospitals. Following this, health experts want to offer it to more people to better their chances of fighting Covid-19 and keeping people safe. Health secretary Sajid Javid confirmed:

As we learn to live with Covid, the UK continues to lead the way in using cutting-edge treatments which have already saved many lives.

The government is set to launch a more comprehensive roll-out programme that will cater to 17,500 people deemed medium risk from this week.

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Eligibility criteria

The drug will be made available through a Panoramic trial run by Oxford University. Those individuals who test positive will have to sign up online to get the potentially life-saving drug. Once a person aged over 50 tests positive for Covid-19, they can sign up for the covid-busting pill online. People under 50 with severe health conditions may also sign up for the drug. The patient basically needs to be at home and in the first five days of the symptom to be eligible for getting Paxlovid. This comes after the NHS accused the government of being irresponsible towards the pandemic as the NHS faces extra pressure to deal with patients.

COVID-19: Antiviral pill treatment could become available by winter COVID-19: Antiviral pill treatment could become available by winter