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Singapore Receives First Batch Of Pfizer Antiviral Oral Pill, Paxlovid

Credit: CNA

Singapore's Health Minister Ong Ye Kung announced that the first batch of Pfizer antiviral oral pill, Paxlovid has finally arrived in the country. Paxlovid is the first oral anti-viral medicine approved by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) for treating Covid-19 infections.

According to Mr Ong, the pills will be prescribed and prioritised for those at higher risk of severe Covid-19 infection. “With more treatment options, we are now in a better position to provide good care to Singaporeans infected with Covid-19.”

The question is, can we trust the drug? Paxlovid was granted interim authorisation under the HSA's Pandemic Special Access Route (PSAR) on 31 January. The authority approved the pills in consultation with its Medicines Advisory Committee.

The authority reviewed available clinical data for the drug and found that it could reduce Covid-19 related hospitalisation or death by 88.9% when given within 3 days from the onset symptoms while the efficacy rate was 87.8% when given within 5 days of Covid-19 symptoms appearing. Lab studies showed that Paxlovid works against Delta and Omicron variants.

According to CNA, countries like South Korea, Britain, and Israel have also started administering the drug to Covid-19 patients from this month. Do you think Malaysia will be getting Paxlovid soon?


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