South Korea’s Food and Drug Ministry has reportedly issued an emergency authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 oral drug, Paxlovid. Approved on Monday, 27th December 2021, the pill is likely to become available through prescription from late January 2022.
According to Kim Kang-lip, Head, Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, with an increase in the number of SARS-CoV-2 patients including those in serious condition, the country has comprehensively considered the need for the introduction of pills that patients can take themselves. Furthermore, the Ministry has also considered the examination review of the effectiveness and safety of the drug and the results of an expert committee meeting, added Kang-lip.
As per Korean authorities, Paxlovid is an antiviral drug for the treatment of mild to moderate SARS-CoV-2 in patients that can help in reducing the risks of death or hospitalization. It is to be noted that the pill is being cited as effective against variants and, available free of charge, it has become the first oral antiviral of its kind to be authorized for usage in South Korea.
Kwon Deok-cheol, Minister of Health and Welfare, stated that the SARS-CoV-2 oral pills are likely to be used from late January 2022, with clinical demonstrations depicting a 90% prevention rate in the hospitalization and death of coronavirus patients. Kwon further asserted that the government has secured COVID-19 oral pills, including Molnupiravir by Merck Sharp & Dohme and Paxlovid by Pfizer, for around 604,000 people and is looking forward to secure more.
While the government has been encouraging people to get a third shot of the COVID vaccine, records state that around 29.6% or over 15 million Koreans have already received the third shot of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. According to statistics, some 82.4% of the people have received two doses, while around 85.7% have received the first shot.
The government is also discussing the extension of the currently set social distancing rules to run through Sunday, cite sources.
Source credit: http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20211227000582