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Merck Pill Gets FDA Approval

The FDA authorized a second pill to treat COVID 19 after the very first antiviral pill to treat the virus was just approved yesterday.

Here’s what health experts want you to know. Is Omicron surges? There are two new tools to beat coronavirus. The FDA has authorized Merck’s antiviral pill just one day after giving
Pfizer’s antiviral pill the green light as well.

“It’s going to transform the way that we can treat COVID 19 and help to avert those dreaded hospitalizations, ICU stays and death.”

Both pills can be taken at home. Pfizer’s treatment, called Paxlovid, must be prescribed by a doctor and is a three tablet dose taken twice daily for five days.

Pfizer says its data showed the pill cut hospitalization risk or death by 88% if given to high risk adults within five days of their first symptoms

“This is a very, very, very potent agent and you’re not going to need to go to a hospital to get an infusion like monoclonal antibodies to be eligible for Pfizer’s treatment.
You must be considered high risk must be twelve years or older.”

And if if tested positive for the virus, Merck’s antiviral pill, called Molnupiravir, treats high risk adults and must be taken within five days of a positive COVID 19 test.

Just like the Pfizer pill. Health experts say the pills are not a substitute for vaccines, but the treatments are a potential game changer as the Omicron variant complicates the COVID
crisis just days before Christmas.

This is one of the few pieces of bright news this week. Preliminary testing does suggest that it still works against the old Macron variant, which is terrific news for today’s health

I’m Jen Sullivan.

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