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The truth about Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill

What is Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill? What does it do?

Relpax migraine pills manufactured by Pfizer.
Relpax migraine pills manufactured by Pfizer are arranged for a photo in Doral, Fla. Pfizer Inc. reports financial earns Tuesday, Oct. 29.
Wilfredo Lee, Associated Press

Pfizer revealed a new pill Friday that can cut the risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19 by 89%.

When should you take Pfizer’s COVID pill?

The Pfizer COVID pill would need to be taken within three days of developing coronavirus symptoms, the company said.

Can Pfizer’s pill stop COVID-19 symptoms?

To measure the pill’s effectiveness, researchers studied more than 1,200 COVID-19 patients with a high risk for severe COVID-19. People who took the Pfizer pill were less likely to end up hospitalized compared to those who took placebo pills, ABC News reports.

  • No one died when they took the real pills. However, 10 people who took the placebos died from COVID-19.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement that the pill, if authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, could “eliminate up to nine out of ten hospitalizations.”

  • “Given the continued global impact of COVID-19, we have remained laser-focused on the science and fulfilling our responsibility to help healthcare systems and institutions around the world while ensuring equitable and broad access to people everywhere,” Bourla said.

When will Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill be available?

Per The New York Times, the Pfizer COVID-19 pill could be available within the next few months, but there would be a limited supply once it’s released.

  • Pfizer said it will produce pills for 180,000 people by the end of 2022 and more than 21 million pills in the first half of 2022.

The company will now seek approval from the FDA.

Is there another COVID-19 pill?

There’s already another major COVID-19 pill in the news. The United Kingdom became the first country Thursday to approve the Merck COVID-19 pill, which treats COVID-19 symptoms similar to how Tamiflu helps those infected with the flu, as I wrote for the Deseret News.