Despite a record-breaking increase in coronavirus cases, the United States government increased its order for Pfizer’s Covid pills by a factor of two on Tuesday, a move that will only modestly increase the nation’s very limited supply of the treatment in the short term, despite a record-setting increase in coronavirus cases.
It is anticipated that the latest order would ultimately supply enough tablets for an additional 10 million Americans, increasing the total number of treatment courses ordered by the government to 20 million. However, they will not all be accessible at the same time. According to a senior administration official, just 35,000 of the extra treatment courses will be administered this month, with another 50,000 supplied in February, adding to the 350,000 treatment courses that were previously slated to be delivered over the following two months.
The order demonstrated how critical it is for health-care practitioners to find alternatives to vaccinations, given that over 35 million individuals are still without a shot and so more exposed to poor effects from Covid. Hundreds of thousands of more people have been vaccinated, yet they have risk characteristics that make them particularly susceptible.
It also seems that the federal pandemic response will increasingly depend on oral medications, which are in short supply and in high demand because to the current pandemic outbreak.
In announcing the move on Tuesday before of a Covid briefing he was scheduled to hear from health officials, President Biden added, “We may need even more.” “That’s the ballpark figure we’re looking for right now.”
Pfizer’s Paxlovid medication is not projected to reach millions of doses per month until April, making it too late to assist with the present increase in the opioid epidemic. It is not expected that the combined order would be entirely completed until the end of September.
The twofold order is still considered a critical component of the federal government’s Covid strategy, according to Mr. Biden. “They’re a game-changer,” he said, “and they have the ability to radically influence” the trajectory of the epidemic, if they are implemented.
Pfizer aims to generate 120 million courses of it by 2022, which will be distributed to all worldwide customers. When administered promptly after the onset of symptoms, the medication has been shown in clinical studies to be particularly helpful in delaying the onset of severe disease.
Treatment with Pfizer’s medicine is designed to be taken as 30 tablets over five days, with patients taking three pills at a time: two of Pfizer’s pills and one of ritonavir, a low-dose H.I.V. drug that aids Pfizer’s drug in being active in the body for a longer period of time.
Public health experts, on the other hand, have cautioned that without a sufficient testing supply — which is an issue in many regions of the nation — it may be impossible to deliver the tablets to people who are most in need as promptly as possible.