By Chris King • 06 February 2022 • 0:55
Image of the Pfizer logo on a sign.
This Thursday, February 3, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), recommended the use of Paxlovid – the first oral antiviral drug available to treat Covid-19 – as soon as the first symptoms of the virus appear.
The entity argued that it should not be used as a prevention tool. Marco Cavalieri, the EMA’s head of Strategy for Biological Health Threats and Vaccines, stated that the treatment is authorised for people who are not undergoing medical treatment, and who have an added risk with the virus, due to some conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, or lung diseases.
Paxlovid is the first orally administered antiviral medicine to be recommended in the EU to treat Covid-19. Developed by Pfizer, it was recommended one week ago by the EMA’s Committee for Human Medicines (CHMP).
This approval came after observing that it significantly reduced hospitalisations or deaths in patients who had at least one underlying condition that put them at risk of severe Covid.
“Paxlovid is more effective in the early stages of the disease, when virus replication is more pronounced and it begins to spread to the lower respiratory tract” explained Mr Cavalieri, adding that both this drug and ‘Veklury’ (Remdesivir) can be used to treat Omicron infections.
The EMA has ensured that they have informed health professionals about the importance of guaranteeing the correct use of these drugs, and that care is taken when they are administered with other medicines. In addition, Cavalieri has clarified that they expect some neutralising monoclonal antibodies to lose their effectiveness against Omicron.
At this point, the EMA representative reaffirmed the importance of vaccines, since they present a high degree of protection against the severity of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In fact, the EMA has pointed out that it is possible that two more vaccines may be approved at Easter: Valneva and Sanofi Pasteur, as reported by diariosur.es.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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