The pill could "eliminate up to nine out of ten hospitalizations." 💊
Pfizer says its antiviral COVID-19 pill reduces the risk of hospitalization and death by 89%.
The company announced the positive results of a major trial involving the pill on Friday, adding that it's now going straight to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval.
"Today's news is a real game-changer," Pfizer chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement. He added that the pills could save lives and "eliminate up to nine out of ten hospitalizations."
The drug, called Paxlovid, is meant to be taken "at the first sign of infection," according to Pfizer. The same kind of drug has been used to treat HIV.
The news follows the U.K.'s approval of pharmaceutical company Merck's COVID-19 pill on Thursday.
Both pills are meant to be taken after you've already been infected by the coronavirus, and work to slow down the virus' ability to spread.
The pills are not meant to replace vaccines.
Instead, they're designed to be a first response after infection — especially if you're at higher risk of getting really sick.
The U.K. is the only country to have approved a COVID-19 pill so far, but U.S. experts are expected to begin reviewing them sometime this month.
Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.
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