“The drug, Paxlovid, is a faster, cheaper way to treat early COVID-19 infections, though initial supplies will be extremely limited. All of the previously authorized drugs against the disease require an IV or an injection.
An antiviral pill from Merck also is expected to soon win authorization. But Pfizer’s drug is all but certain to be the preferred option because of its mild side effects and superior effectiveness, including a nearly 90% reduction in hospitalizations and deaths among patients most likely to get severe disease.
“The efficacy is high, the side effects are low and it’s oral. It checks all the boxes,” said Dr. Gregory Poland of the Mayo Clinic. “You’re looking at a 90% decreased risk of hospitalization and death in a high-risk group — that’s stunning.”
The Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer’s drug for adults and children ages 12 and older with a positive COVID-19 test and early symptoms who face the highest risks of hospitalization. That includes older people and those with conditions like obesity and heart disease. Children eligible for the drug must weigh at least 88 pounds (40 kilograms).
The pills from both Pfizer and Merck are expected to be effective against omicron because they don’t target the spike protein where most of the variant’s worrisome mutations reside.” Newsmax
“Scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research expect to announce they have developed a vaccine effective against COVID-19 and all its variants — including omicron and previous SARS-origin viruses, Defense One reported.
The remarkable achievement comes after nearly two years of work on the virus, the news outlet reported.
The Army lab received its first DNA sequencing of the COVID-19 virus in early 2020, and very early on, Walter Reed’s infectious diseases branch decided to focus on making a vaccine that would work against not just the existing strain but all of its potential variants, Defense One reported.
Walter Reed’s SpFN vaccine — Spike Ferritin Nanoparticle — completed animal trials earlier this year with positive results, the news outlet reported.
Phase 1 of human trials tested the vaccine against omicron and the other variants and wrapped up this month with positive results that are undergoing final review, Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, director of Walter Reed’s infectious diseases branch, told Defense One.
The new vaccine will still need to undergo phase 2 and phase 3 trials.” Newsmax
Comment: More good news all around. pl