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Pfizer COVID pill gets US authorization


/ America: The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization Wednesday to Pfizer’s COVID treatment pill, a major milestone that promises to revolutionize the fight against the virus.

The medication, which is recommended for people at a high risk of developing severe , could be available to as early as this weekend. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC earlier this month the company has already shipped some of the pills to the  so they can be prescribed as soon as the FDA authorization comes through. The Centers for Disease Control and is expected to quickly follow suit with its seal of approval, authorizing its distribution.

The FDA cleared the pill for patients 12 and up with mild to moderate COVID  are most likely to end up hospitalized or not survive. The agency said it should be prescribed as soon as possible after diagnosis and within five days of symptom onset.

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The company reiterated Wednesday that it’s ready to start delivery in the US immediately.

Pfizer’s pill is the first oral antiviral drug authorized by the FDA that is specifically designed to fight COVID. The authorization comes at a crucial turning point in the pandemic, as systems across the US have been battered by a wave of delta infections, and are now bracing for another wave of patients infected with the highly contagious variant.

While the FDA said vaccines are the first line of against Covid, the drug provides a new tool in its fight against the virus. While the vaccines have proven effective in preventing severe illness from the virus, health-care providers need medications to treat the tens of millions of people in the US who still have not gotten vaccinated. The pill, if delivered in time, could help alleviate the strain on health-care systems during an expected wave of omicron infections.

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