Pfizer’s experimental oral drug to treat Covid-19 at the first sign of illness could be available by the end of the year, CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC on Tuesday.
Governments and corporations milking COVID-19 for every last cent
The company, which developed the first authorized Covid-19 vaccine in the U.S. with German drugmaker BioNTech, began in March an early stage clinical trial testing a new antiviral therapy for the disease. The drug is part of a class of medicines called protease inhibitors and works by inhibiting an enzyme that the virus needs to replicate in human cells.
Protease inhibitors are used to treat other viral pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis C. If clinical trials go well and the Food and Drug Administration approves it, the drug could be distributed across the U.S. by the end of the year, Bourla told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
Health experts say the drug, taken by mouth, could be a game changer because people newly infected with the COVID-19 virus could use it outside of hospitals. Researchers hope the medication will keep the disease from progressing and prevent hospital trips.
A reminder of what you are giving up your freedom for. pic.twitter.com/ScPNPuOBxP
— RAMZPAUL (@ramzpaul) April 24, 2021
Many Americans are refusing the vaccine
In addition to the drug, Pfizer is still testing its vaccine in 6-month to 11-year-old children. Vaccinating children is crucial to ending the COVID-19 pandemic, public health officials and infectious disease experts say. Even though there is a 99.997% survival rate for young people. It seems these big corporations just want to sell more drugs.
Earlier this month, the company asked the FDA to expand its vaccine authorization to adolescents ages 12 to 15 after the shot was found to be 100% effective in a study. Bourla told CNBC on Tuesday he is “very optimistic” that the FDA will approve use of the shot in adolescents.
Pressure is mounting for more Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Some Democrats have floated the idea of a “vaccine passport” that would prove you’ve taken the shot and allow you access to public places such as malls, sporting events and airports.
Florida, Texas, Arizona and Arkansas are among a growing number of states that have banned the use of a so-called COVID-19 vaccine passport.
🚨BREAKING🚨Arkansas just officially banned vaccine passports and mask mandates—FOREVER.
— Tim Swain (@SwainForSenate) April 30, 2021