By Matthew Roscoe • 02 December 2022 • 17:23
Pfizer's Covid pill Paxlovid will soon be available in Norway. Image: rarrarorro/Shutterstock.com
According to Norway’s government on Friday, December 2, Pfizer’s Covid pill Paxlovid reduces the risk of serious coronavirus in those at high risk of becoming seriously ill and will be made available throughout the country.
“I am happy that we can now offer corona patients with a high risk of serious illness this treatment. It reduces the risk of a serious course for the individual, in addition to helping to reduce the burden on the health service,” said Norway’s Minister of Health and Care, Ingvild Kjerkol.
The government noted that it is “primarily the elderly and those with an underlying illness who will benefit from the treatment. For patients at low risk of serious disease, the drug is of little benefit.”
It added: “When used correctly, Paxlovid is estimated to reduce the number of hospital admissions by more than 80 per cent among people at high risk of severe covid-19 disease.”
Norway has secured Paxlovid through the EU’s joint procurement scheme, Kjerkol said.
“These acquisitions are another example of our good cooperation with the EU regarding the purchase of pharmaceuticals.”
Norway has received enough Paxlovid for 25,000 people through the EU’s joint procurement scheme.
“This means that there is limited access to the medicine,” the government said.
“The Norwegian Directorate of Health emphasises that Paxlovid does not replace the covid vaccine and that you get the best protection by taking the vaccine.”
Back in August, a study in Israel showed that Pfizer’s covid-19 pill Paxlovid appeared to provide little or no benefit for younger adults.
Some high-profile figures have promoted their use of Paxlovid following infections over the second half 0f 2022.
On Tuesday, August 16, Jill Biden tested positive for Covid and said she was using the same medicine as her husband and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla to treat the virus.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said on Monday, August 15, that he was thankful to have received four jabs of the Covid vaccine and revealed he was using the same treatment protocol that US President Joe Biden used when he tested (and rebound tested) positive for the virus.
On July 21, US President Biden tested positive for Covid and announced he had begun taking Paxlovid.
“This morning, President Biden tested positive for COVID-19,” a statement from the White House said at the time.
“He is fully vaccinated and twice boosted and experiencing very mild symptoms. He has begun taking Paxlovid. Consistent with CDC guidelines, he will isolate at the White House and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time.”
“He has been in contact with members of the White House staff by phone this morning, and will participate in his planned meetings at the White House this morning via phone and Zoom from the residence.”
“Consistent with White House protocol for positive COVID cases, which goes above and beyond CDC guidance, he will continue to work in isolation until he tests negative. Once he tests negative, he will return to in-person work.”
“Out of an abundance of transparency, the White House will provide a daily update on the President’s status as he continues to carry out the full duties of the office while in isolation.”
“Per standard protocol for any positive case at the White House, the White House Medical Unit will inform all close contacts of the President during the day today, including any Members of Congress and any members of the press who interacted with the President during yesterday’s travel. The President’s last previous test for COVID was Tuesday, when he had a negative test result.”
Jill Biden tested positive for Covid again on Wednesday, August 24 – eight days after testing positive for the virus.
Speaking about the Pfizer drug, Dr David Boulware, a University of Minnesota researcher and physician, said: “Paxlovid will remain important for people at the highest risk of severe covid-19, such as seniors and those with compromised immune systems.
“But for the vast majority of Americans who are now eligible, this really doesn’t have a lot of benefits.”
A spokesman for Pfizer declined to comment on the results to the AP, which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
However, White House spokesman Kevin Munoz told the AP on Wednesday, August 24, “risk for severe outcomes from covid is along a gradient, and the growing body of evidence is showing that individuals between the ages of 50 and 64 can also benefit from Paxlovid.”
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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