U.S. to double and speed up order of Pfizer antiviral drugs

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President Biden will announce on Tuesday that he is directing his staff to double the United States’ order of Pfizer antiviral drugs from 10 million COVID-19 remedy programs to twenty million remedy programs, and the supply will likely be accelerated from September to June, a senior administration official advised CBS News. 

Mr. Biden will talk about the Pfizer drugs, which deal with sufferers who’ve contracted COVID, in remarks Tuesday afternoon throughout a gathering with members of the White House COVID-19 Response staff, in accordance with the senior administration official. The assembly will tackle the most recent developments of the contagious Omicron variant, which has led to the best case charges of the pandemic. The president will hear how instances proceed to extend with the variant, however totally vaccinated and boosted Americans will not be more likely to have extreme signs. 

Last month, the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization for Pfizer’s antiviral tablet, Paxlovid, to deal with COVID-19 for Americans as younger as 12 who’re at “high risk for progression to severe COVID-19.” In a examine, Pfizer mentioned its tablet was 89% efficient at stopping hospitalization and demise amongst such high-risk sufferers. Pfizer says the tablet works by blocking the flexibility of the virus to make copies of itself. 

The president will direct his staff to double the acquisition of the antiviral drugs Wednesday. The senior administration official famous that producing the drugs takes a very long time due to its complicated artificial manufacturing course of. The federal authorities’s order is within the technique of being manufactured, and the official mentioned the federal government is getting the drugs as quickly as they arrive off the manufacturing line. The official famous that the Pfizer antiviral tablet is one instrument within the toolbox of the way to fight the virus, and that by the top of January there will likely be 4 million COVID-19 therapies accessible to Americans. 

Former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb advised CBS News’ “Face the Nation” Sunday that the Omicron variant seems to be a “milder strain” of the virus, however nonetheless poses a hazard to unvaccinated youngsters. New York’s performing well being commissioner, Dr. Mary T. Bassett, mentioned final week that pediatric hospitalizations had risen 395% in New York City for the reason that week ending December 11. 

The White House has mentioned it is working to ascertain a web site the place individuals can request free at-home speedy checks, as some elements of the nation expertise shortages of those checks. The White House mentioned the web site will likely be up in January, however how lengthy it’ll take most Americans to really obtain the kits stays unclear. 

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