As the holiday season nears, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen. Hospitalizations around the country have neared 70,000 and the overall death toll has crossed 800,000. In response to these developments, the Biden administration has ordered enough of Pfizer’s new antiviral COVID-19 pill to treat 10 million Americans.
“I am encouraged by the promising data released by Pfizer today, showing that its antiviral pill is effective at reducing the risk of severe illness in people infected with COVID-19. This news provides another potentially powerful tool in our fight against the virus, including the Omicron variant,” Biden stated in a press release.
“Several steps remain before the Pfizer pill can become available, including authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. To make sure that we are ready, my Administration has already placed an order for enough of these pills to treat 10 million Americans.”
Biden’s declaration comes along with a report from Pfizer about its latest test involving the pill. According to CNBC, the pill has a “near 90% efficacy in preventing hospitalizations and deaths in high-risk patients.” While Pfizer continues to develop the promising treatment, the pill is still “several steps” away from being approved by the FDA. In the meantime, elected officials and medical care providers are encouraging Americans to get vaccinated.
“Getting vaccinated and getting your booster shot remain the most important tools we have to save lives. But if this treatment is indeed authorized — and once the pills are widely available — it will mark a significant step forward in our path out of the pandemic,” Biden continued.
“The combination of widespread vaccinations and boosters, testing, and effective pills for those who become ill will help us further reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our lives and our economy as we continue to build back better.”