Biden’s Plan to Keep Unvaccinated Out of Hospitals

Pfizer’s COVID antiviral treatment pills will cost $5 billion, and the government plans to distribute them to vulnerable groups as soon as the FDA approves the drug on an emergency basis.

With the introduction of two antiviral treatments that have been proven effective in clinical trials, the threat of COVID is expected to diminish significantly in 2022, especially for the elderly and unvaccinated.

And as reported by the New York Times, the Biden administration has already committed $5 billion towards the development of Pfizer’s pills — enough to cure 10 million people.

Earlier this week, Pfizer formally requested FDA approval for its oral antiviral treatment, in this case, an approval specifically targeted at the unvaccinated elderly and high-risk patients.

A spokesperson for Pfizer told the Times that it may eventually seek approval for using the pills among vaccinated individuals, pending the results of a clinical trial.

In clinical trials, Paxlovid showed an 89% success rate in preventing hospitalization and death in patients at risk, when administered within three days of the onset of symptoms.

The Paxlovid drug is taken over five days in a course of 30 pills.

Due to the slow pace of production, Pfizer estimates that it will only be able to treat 180,000 patients by the end of the year, despite 21 million more treatments ready by the end of June.

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In trials, Merck’s antiviral was found to prevent hospitalizations and deaths 50% of the time, but “the different designs and timing of the trials make comparisons imprecise.”

As a result of widespread vaccination and growing immunity against COVID infections, COVID deaths and hospitalizations are on the decline across the country.

According to Dr. David Dowdy, a professor of public health at Johns Hopkins, “I do think that these new oral antivirals will change the way that Covid is managed.”

The availability of these treatments also eliminates worries about outbreaks and the rare possibility of severe illnesses among the vaccinated.

Bulk purchases are being made by the government, not only to save money but also to prepare for the worst.

A report in the New York Times notes that the government “had initially planned to order 1.7 million courses of Pfizer’s treatment, with an additional option for 3.3 million, for about $700 per course.”

However, ordering 10 million vaccines brings the price down to $500 per cost.

Furthermore, the government also plans to purchase 3.1 million courses of treatment from Merck, for a cost of $700 per course.

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