© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Paxlovid, a Pfizer’s coronavirus illness (COVID-19) tablet, is seen manufactured in Ascoli, Italy, on this undated handout picture obtained by Reuters on November 16, 2021. Pfizer/Handout through REUTERS
(Reuters) -Africa’s high public well being physique is in talks with Pfizer (NYSE:) about bringing in provides of its antiviral Paxlovid remedy capsules for COVID-19 to the continent, its director mentioned on Thursday.
Paxlovid was almost 90% efficient in stopping hospitalisations and deaths, and knowledge urged it retains its effectiveness towards Omicron, Pfizer has mentioned.
“We’re in actually shut discussions with Pfizer to see what could be finished to make the medication out there on the continent and accessible on the continent, that’s the Paxlovid medication,” mentioned John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Illness Management.
Governments world wide are scrambling to purchase Paxlovid, whereas Merck’s Molnupiravir has confronted setbacks after disappointing trial knowledge.
Nkengasong mentioned that getting provides of COVID-19 medication was certainly one of three key methods for combating the pandemic in Africa in 2022, together with scaling up vaccinations and increasing testing.
Medicine for treating COVID-19 could be essential within the eventuality of one other extremely transmissible variant rising and public well being programs turning into overwhelmed, he mentioned.
“The one option to relieve that can be if now we have medication like Paxlovid the place folks can take that drug and keep house and get reduction, and that approach the burden and the constraints on the well being system can be restricted,” Nkengasong instructed a web-based information briefing.
“That is why we’re engaged on these three issues this 12 months very, very actively,” he mentioned.
Africa has formally recorded simply over 10 million instances of COVID-19 because the begin of the pandemic, though the true quantity is probably going a lot increased on account of patchy testing.
A number of African international locations are going by fourth or fifth waves of infections.
Nkengasong mentioned 10% of Africans had been absolutely vaccinated.
South Korea will start treating COVID-19 sufferers with Paxlovid on Friday, the primary Asian nation to take action.
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