Tennessee doctor discusses COVID-19 pill, effectiveness

COVID-19 pills will likely be prescribed to patients once approved.
Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 4:47 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Pfizer announced Friday its COVID-19 pill decreases the chance of being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19 by nearly 90%. According to their study, Officials with Pfizer said that the pill can reduce hospitalizations by 89% if taken within 3 days of testing positive for COVID-19. Doctors said the pill is 100% effective in preventing death for COVID-19 patients.

Dr. Mikael Dolsten with Pfizer said, “Even if you start the medicine five days after having contracted COVID-19, you now have 85% protection.”

Pfizer is now the second company to start working on a COVID-19 pill along with Merck.

Merck is a little further in its approval process as the U.K. approved its pill and the FDA will talk about approving it at the end of November in the U.S.

Pfizer introduced its study Friday showing it is very effective in COVID-19 patients.

Infectious disease expert with Vanderbilt Medical Center, Dr. William Schaffner, said, “They’re designed to prevent the development of severe disease if you do become infected particularly if you are in a high-risk category.”

Dr. Schaffner said the numbers presented by Pfizer are very good and shows promise that it could be approved in the future.

“They really shift the equation in our favor and we doctors like to provide treatment that keeps people from getting sicker and helps them recover sooner,” Dr. Schaffner said.

He also compared these types of pills to what people take to prevent and treat influenza. Doctors said the development of the COVID-19 pill could be revolutionary in helping stop the spread of the virus.

“When prevention doesn’t quite work, we’ll have treatment available,” Dr. Schaffner said.

Doctors expect the pills to be prescribed to people who test positive for COVID-19 once approved.

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