Chief medical advisor says antiviral drugs will not cancel out the need for vaccinationsDr Fauci predicts a low level of COVID-19 disruption by spring
NASSAU, BAHAMAS Despite the introduction of antiviral drugs against COVID-19, there will still be a need to administer vaccinations globally, according to Dr Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the United States president.
Fauci made the comment yesterday while appearing as a guest on local talk show The Morning Blend with host Dwight Strachan.
His take on the latest COVID-19 treatment to hit the market comes as pharmaceutical companies seek to introduce antiviral medication to treat onset COVID-19 symptoms for high-risk individuals.
Fauci noted that while its very good that we are getting these very promising drugs, prevention is the only way to end COVID-19 outbreaks.
Treatment only helps you to not get seriously ill once you get infected, he said.
If you want to end an outbreak, you have to stop getting infected, and you do that with a combination of vaccines and mitigation methods in such appropriate situations.
He confirmed that vaccinations will still be required even with these new drugs being administered.
The United Kingdom medicines regulator has approved the first antiviral medication for COVID-19 in the form of a pill called molnupiravir.
The pill, which was developed by US drug companies Merck, Sharp and Dohme (MSD) and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, will begin being given twice a day to vulnerable patients who have been diagnosed COVID-positive.The drug must also be given within five days of developing symptoms in order to be most effective.
Pfizer has also announced that it has developed a pill named Paxlovid that would cut the risk of hospitalizations or death by 89 percent in vulnerable adults.
There is still no cure for the novel coronavirus, with a mix of treatments being used to manage symptoms and effects of the disease.
When will it end?
Asked yesterday how the exit from the pandemic will look, Fauci noted that the world is still moving through the different phases of the pandemic.
You go from the pandemic phase, which means its somewhat controlled which it is, we know that globally then you get to a deceleration of cases over, but then you get to control and there are various levels of control, the US medical expert explained.
So, the WHO (World Health Organization) can declare its over as a pandemic when you get down to a certain lower level of infection throughout the world, but that doesnt mean were done with it because if you get really, really good control, then you have very few cases.
You can declare a pandemic over, but you can still have a lot of cases in the community. We want to get as low-level control as we possibly can.
Fauci added: What we are hoping is that when we get through this winter and go into the spring, then we will have a lower level that it is not disrupting society That will depend very much on how many people around the world get vaccinated.
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