Pfizer and Merck rolled out data from their clinical trials showing their antiviral pills are effective in fighting COVID-19.
“I’m excited both of the drugs seem to be very active and very effective for people,” UC San Diego Chief of Infectious Diseases Dr. Davey Smith said.
Pfizer ended their clinical trial early after seeing very promising data that they will submit to the FDA.
Pfizer’s COVID-19 antiviral pill is 89% effective against serious illness when taken within three days of infection.
Merck’s COVID-19 antiviral pill is under review by regulators now and according to the pharmaceutical company, their pill is 50% effective when taken within five days of infection.
“It’s not for somebody who has been ill for a long time or someone who is in the hospital, it needs to be taken within a few days of symptoms of COVID-19,” Smith said.
The data from both pharmaceutical companies presents a potentially new method to fight COVID-19.
“I would take it if I had COVID especially if it was going to decrease the symptoms and help prevent death,” San Diegan Megan Trapnell said.
“I definitely would take the pill,” Sydney Kiffmeyer said.
Infectious Disease Doctors and Public Health Officials are hopeful that people would continue to get vaccinated because despite the antiviral pills' promising numbers, they said vaccination is still the best defense against COVID-19.
“I hope people still continue to get vaccinated, that really is the best way from getting sick. However, this is another option that if they do get infected they have something that can prevent them from needing a hospital or dying,” Smith said.
If Pfizer and Merck’s COVID-19 antiviral pills are approved they could be available to Americans by the end of the year.