Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines approved for booster scheme
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Pfizer UK have confirmed the new wonderpill is being manufactured and cut the risk of hospitalisation and death by 89 percent.
Their experimental COVID-19 antiviral pill was developed to prevent the replication of SARS-CoV-2 and protect people from developing severe COVID-19.
Mr Osborn confirmed the pill could be available in the early parts of 2022.
Pfizer say the pill has shown extraordinary efficacy in the first data from a large Phase 2/3 clinical trial.
Speaking to Sky News today, Pfizer’s UK Country Manager Ben Osborn said: “We are now working at real pace with regulators around the world and in particular in the UK here with the MHRA.
“We expect the filing in the coming weeks, and subject to their approval we may see this medicine being available very early in 2022.”
The Government has already pre-ordered a quarter of a million of those treatments, and Mr Osborn said that those will be readily available.
He told Sky News: “We’ve been working with the manufacturing site at scale so that we make sure that we are ready for any forthcoming regulatory approval both here in the UK and further afield.”
While the results of the Phase 2/3 clinical trial are yet to be published in a peer reviewed journal, the new pill is an addition to a large list of incredible treatments that have been developed since outbreak of the pandemic in 2020.
Last month, a COVID-19 antiviral wonderpill was announced after pharmaceutical company Merck revealed its drug molnupiravir reduced one’s risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19 by 50 percent.
Along with 250,000 courses of the new Pfizer treatment, the UK has also ordered another 480,000 courses of the molnupiravir pill.
But Pfizer’s new drug – Paxlovid – cuts the risk of hospitalisation or death by 89 percent in vulnerable adults, results from a clinical trail have indicated.
The drug should be used soon after symptoms develop in people at high risk of severe disease.
The combination treatment, which is still experimental because the final stages of trials are still not complete, works in a different way to the Merck pill, which introduces errors into the genetic code of the virus.
But so far, interim data from trials ofPaxlovid in 1,219 high-risk patients who had recently been infected with COVID-19 found that only 0.8 percent of those given the treatment were hospitalised, compared with 7 percent of patients who were given a placebo.
While the UK hope to rollout Paxlovid in early 2022, there are already plans for molnupiravir through a drug trial later this month.
Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Adviser at the UK Health Security Agency told BBC News on Sunday when asked about molnupiravir’s approval: “That is great news and it will start to be rolled out through a drug trial in the end of this month/the beginning of December.
“The new Pfizer drug is probably not going to be licensed until the new year some time.
“It is still likely to be a couple of months away.”
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