FDA Approves Second Antiviral Pill for Covid-19

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved and authorized another Covid-19 pill for people to take at home before they get sick enough to be hospitalized, making it the second pill to be approved by authorities.

“I think it could really be a game-changer for those who are most at risk of a severe outcome from COVID,” said Amy Mersiovsky, director and chair, Texas A&M University-Central Texas’ Department of Nursing.

Merck’s anti-viral pill, Molnupravir, could be big for mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults.

The drug can lower the risk of hospitalization by 30 percent for higher risk adults, data has shown.

Read More: US Shortens the Duration of Coronavirus Isolation Rules for Health Personnel.

Despite the new pills, health experts say getting the vaccine is still the most effective option.

“We shouldn’t be looking at these pills to be preventative for COVID,” said Mersiovsk. “It’s just going to decrease the severity of infection of those people who’ve already gotten sick.”

With the Omicron variant nowhere, Waco-McLennan County Public Health District officials say the demand for vaccines and tests is rising before the holidays.

“Now with so much demand for home testing because of them across there’s a possibility that we could be missing out on cases,” said Kelly Craine of the Waco-McLennan Health District.

Tracking down case numbers of take-home tests can be a challenge for the health district. Officials say home test takers to contact the doctor if they’re positive.

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